The Chase Is On - TheStreet

I heard laughter on trading desks for the first time in three months. I heard people talk about something else other than their losses. And I am seeing massive buying in the banks, my favorite sign that the nightmare is indeed over. (See

Helene Meisler's

article this morning.)

We focused on

Chase

(CMB)

because that's where the most negativity is focused. You can call me a homeboy -- I have worked closely personally with

Chase Capital Partners

-- but I can't pick up a magazine or a newspaper or a cyberpaper that doesn't portray these guys as conflicted morons who bought at the top. (If they were so darned conflicted and so darned together, why the heck did they cut me no slack on my mortgage given my dealings with them personally and professionally? I had to go elsewhere to get the loan.)

Seriously, maybe they funded some stuff too high. Who didn't. Maybe they overpaid for some stuff. Maybe they screwed up on some things. Who didn't.

I like it when pessimism is priced in. This stock has been hounded, harrassed, joked about, and crushed by the critics-most of whom seem to get their stuff from the coordinated likes of a couple of negative analysts.

To me, they have created an atmosphere of fear and loathing toward the stock, exactly the opposite of what I saw at $100.

That's what I like.

True, I am sick and tired of reading about what a bunch of bozos these guys are supposed to be when they survived

Long Term Capital

, Brazil devaluations, the merger game, the credit card wars and the venture capital biz with what comes as close to flying colors as I have seen in this business. And you can say "Cramer, you conflicted butthead, you are in bed with

Flatiron

, a Chase affiliate." (Fred Wilson,

TSC's

chairman, is a principal at Flatiron.) To which I say, heck, I've been in bed with a ton of people and, with the exception of my wife, that hasn't stopped me from knocking them if I thought they were corrupt or out of line or stupid. You think I would draw the line at socking a big partner who could hurt me personally after all the heat I have taken lately? I don't think so.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Chase Manhattan. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. 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 at

jjcletters@thestreet.com.