Political Correctness Comes to the Stock Market

Net madness.
Publish date:

To me the amazing thing is that not a single fund manager has come on television and said what everybody says in private: "These Net valuations are all a big joke and this is completely ridiculous."

Take the tongue-in-cheek

piece I did on

Genesis Direct


. Darn if that didn't prove prescient. But nobody will come on and say even close to what I said a few weeks ago on "Squawk," the one that put me in the Sprewell box.

I don't blame them. I know the whole world wants to justify what is going on. Everybody wants to talk about new paradigms or changes in the way that we do business. Nobody wants to be up there screaming "it's tulips, it's tulips."

But in private people are revolted. Business people are revolted. Bankers are revolted. Wealthy individuals are insulted. People who have worked all their lives building businesses see their businesses passed in market cap by a company toting a press release, but they say nothing. They don't speak. They are afraid.

When we speak of politically correct in politics, we all know what we are talking about. Same with academia. Now politically correct has come to the stock market. Everyone is shamed by the performance of these stocks to speak out. Everyone, but especially the bankers and the analysts and the money managers, is afraid to tell the truth, that most of these new net.com'ers will be bumping along the new low list this time next year. But to say it will open them to ridicule and to a kind of punishment that would make my benching seem like a time out!

There are no heroes from the short side. Everybody still hates Joe Kennedy for all of the money he made shorting stocks before the Crash of '29. But we all know that in 1999 somebody is going to get rich from the short side from their National Giftwrap.com shorts -- yeah, even I am chastised into using pseudonyms.

And still, we keep buying.

Random musings

: Not all Internet service providers are updating correctly because of our changeover. Mine isn't, for example, and it is driving me crazy. I am calling people trying to figure out what is the matter, but the problem seems to be at the server level -- theirs or mine?? I do not know.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of TheStreet.com. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column by sending a letter to TheStreet.com.