publishes select emails received by the publication and its staff members. To send an email intended for publication in this section, write to and include your full name and city. Letters may be edited for length, style, clarity and accuracy.

Nothing Is Free


State of the Web: Try Charging Again, Publishers

James J. Cramer:

The greatest advantage of a newspaper -- its portability. You can take it to the can.

The ability to take the paper wherever you want to is a real advantage, particularly given the mobile internet options available today.


Jim Nivison

(received 4/30)

James J. Cramer:

Nothing is free, at least according to

Stevie Ray Vaughan

. He ought to know, he was a blues singer!

Have you ever tried reading

The New York Times

on the Web while lying on the sofa?

There is room for both, but, nothing is free, at least for long.

-- Chris Johnson

(received 4/30)

James Cramer:

As an investor I couldn't agree more on your position on charging. There are so many days that I don't buy

USA Today

because I read it

on the Net. They can't think they need the exposure of a Web site as well-known as they are. Would I pay to read it online? No, I wouldn't, but they would gain some paper sales from me. If they charged for the online product, they would get a true picture of how much they were losing because they could record the drop in hits, and I predict hardly anyone would subscribe.

I plan on resubscribing to

The New Republic

but have been able to put it off because the same stuff is online that people are paying for. It makes no sense at all from a business standpoint. There are too many people who bought into "The Web is the future" nonsense and put their stuff online in a situation that didn't fit their business model. The Web will have its place, but it is not the future of our economic system. These people who have bet the farm that millions of people are dying to have Web access to carry around with them -- i.e. telecom and handhelds -- have missed the boat. People are not waiting anxiously for this technology. I'm not talking about the market for salesmen and such, but that market isn't big enough to justify the investment these companies have made.


Mark Beverly

(received 4/30)

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places


The Endless Love of Telco-Tech

James J. Cramer:

About the AOL chatters who only asked you about Telco-Tech, there will always be those who don't listen.

I just want them to keep on buying their


mac & cheese and getting their Viagra prescriptions filled at


(TGT) - Get Report

. Charging their Marlboro's and gas at


(BP) - Get Report

on their


(C) - Get Report

card. As long as they don't drink their

Miller Beer

while driving a


(CAT) - Get Report

tractor everything will be fine.

Thank you for all your work. Some people are listening.

--John Gast

(received 4/25)

The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers


Leave Chambers Alone

James J. Cramer:

I agree that a class action suit is pointless, yet who was running the inventory management



(CSCO) - Get Report

where it looks as if raw material jumped 10-fold as we were heading to a major slowdown. Something is obviously amiss at Cisco, and I have to question management when they take charges equal to one-third of their entire retained earning. It's all very puzzling.


Dan Cooper

(received 4/23)

James J. Cramer:

Glad to see you have the nerve to make your statement about the law suits. It makes me sick that John Chambers will have to address the class action suits from all the money-hungry that smell dollars.

It brings to mind this line from one of

William Shakespeare's

plays: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers!"


Dennis Duffy

(received 4/23)

Learning from your Homework


So the Dog Ate Your Homework, Huh?

James J. Cramer:

The fact is, most all stocks are overvalued on a fundamental basis. If there is one thing that our present market rewards it is trading and not investing. Fundamental analysis, as implied by your remarks regarding different semi companies, just doesn't work, as the past few days have demonstrated. Technical analysis, psychology and timing techniques using the action of the stocks themselves tend to produce superior results. Support tends to be produced by technical, psychological factors more than fundamentals. The market is manipulated, corrupt as the past few days have demonstrated as the "powers that be" have "created" a bottom. The mutual fund complex pushes the market around with no regard for the fundamentals. Efficient allocation of capital based upon fundamental tenets doesn't exist on Wall Street. They just want to sell/push "product" and "rip the face off" of their clients. Fundamental investing is an oxymoron in today's market.

-- Glenn Corbett

(received 4/11)

James J. Cramer:

Right on! I'm so tired of talking to people who invest in high tech, even some who call themselves professionals, that don't have a clue. I've been around long enough to remember the pain of the '85-'89 down turn. I see what's going on and frankly it's like deja vu. Different sectors but eerily similar scenarios.

The PC industry was young with too many competitors and not enough customers. The downturn weeded out the weak and made for a stronger market. The minicomputer market never recovered and went into a secular decline and disappeared. The



Prime Computers



never could reinvent themselves. People used to say then that a company with multibillion in sales like Wang couldn't go out of business. I've heard the same about companies like




I don't think that we are in a secular decline in the communication space. However, I feel we are definitely in a significant winnowing out period. Greater than what the mid 80s did to the PC market.

I believe after this bloodletting is done -- it could take a few years with all the inventory of defunct CLECs and dot-coms around -- we will have a solid growth market again. Solid as in 10%-30% a year. Not 50+%....


Eliot Rosen

(received 4/11)

No Action There


Action Alert: Kohl's

James J. Cramer:


(KSS) - Get Report

is truly a great retailer -- as is


(WMT) - Get Report

and a few others. But in an overcapacity situation, are they really worth a P/E of about 55? I don't think so. There is an overcapacity situation in retailing -- too many similar stores and stores of the same chain cannibalizing each other. Just as there is in many of the tech industries that you've been trashing. I say Kohl's breaks 50 before it breaks 60. I know, if it goes below 50, you'll just buy more.


Alan Andler

received (4/6)

James J. Cramer:

I disagree about Kohl's. It might work for a trade, but that's not the mission now.

Even supposing this is the new WMT, WMT never traded near this multiple in it's go-go growth days. So the longer-term upside just isn't there with Kohl's "at today's price."


Greg Pribyl

(received 4/6)

New Ad Age


State of the Web: The Cheapest Moment Ever

James J. Cramer:

I have to tell you, you are completely wrong about Web branding.



problems have nothing to do with branding. They are the "canary in the coal mine" for Madison Avenue as a whole. The golden age of advertising is ending and the amount of pain ahead for those addicted to ad revenues is going to be brutal. That's the real message behind what's been happening with the blowups in ad-sponsored Web businesses. Where the Web leads TV will follow.


(TIVO) - Get Report

and others to follow are going to torpedo the entire broadcast TV industry by making commercial interruptions a thing of the past for the average consumer.

You had it right all along. If your content isn't worth paying for you're not going to make it.


knows this. Yahoo! is starting to figure this out. The TV networks are still clueless.

-- Bill Fischofer

(received 4/2)

As far as advertising goes, Web advertising is not much different than highway billboard advertising -- actually less intrusive/noticeable/effective? I'm not bored and am more intent on focusing my eyes on the info I came for in the first place. It's the way I deal with advertising impressions forced upon me. Until high speed is the norm --$30 price point perhaps? -- that's the way it's likely to remain. Once high speed is the norm, and articles/site layouts can have more of a forced browsing quality to them without being so slow as to chase away people. At that point, perhaps, advertising may be able to go from highway billboard to magazine-type rates for companies like


and other "magazine"-like sites. It's ironic that the same direct/speedy way of getting to what you want - which is the real advantage of the Web over other mediums -- has built into it the seeds of a primary disadvantage from an advertising perspective of avoiding unwanted advertising. This irony, I'm afraid, will never make the Web as powerful a medium as magazine advertisements. Of course, video presentation could change that, however the publication costs of video are sure to be higher than articles.


Gary Talesnick

(received 4/3)