Nothing makes me happier than walking into a green room and seeing family, anybody's family. This Wednesday
brought his whole shootin' match in, including his incredibly sweet wife, his very gracious sister and his kids. That makes everything better -- including the language.
I have to admit that, as we filmed the show on Wednesday, it was quite a change to be more refreshed than on our usual Friday taping. I admit to leading my work life in fifth gear, which until our TV show starting filming Friday nights meant collapsing at home, usually right after work. In fact, I always found myself in bed, first for
, then for
. (One day I hope I'll find myself in bed to watch our show against
Wall Street Week
, when it should be on!) Now I have to pump up just when I'm usually letting down and it makes for a difficult combo.
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So, rested and amiable -- as opposed to pissed off and tired -- I chatted with the Herbster (he
a Herbster, come to think of it) and his brood. Herb and I talked about how this show would be especially fun because we had two outspoken guests,
Thomas Weisel Partners
I have history with both, by the way, so it was sure going to be interesting.
Just as we were discussing it, in walked Ralph Bloch. I met Ralph in the green room at
, where I've met virtually every strategist at one time or another. Ralph is big, joyous and full of energy. He immediately mentioned that he was under the weather and had just returned from Brussels. For a second -- always worried about the tempo of the show -- I thought Ralph wouldn't be able to be himself. But he disabused me of that notion by getting right into some good stories about other less-thick-skinned technicians who have had a tough time of late.
Let me put my cards on the table. I took a shot -- I hesitate to say "cheap" because you always hate to admit to those things -- about him earlier this year, calling him some sort of bear or something. But the market had been crummy except for a couple of red hotters all year and when the inevitable slamdown came in September and October, Ralph went positive at the absolutely perfect moment. He "got you in at the bottom," which pretty much amounts to Congressional Medal territory in my book.
I apologized in my column. He graciously accepted my apology. And then I couldn't resist asking him to be on the show.
, our producer, handles this stuff and somehow made it all happen. I was thrilled. I like big guys with opinions. And he has them.
Like virtually everyone else on Wall Street that day, we talked about the market and about the sad case of the
Keefe Bruyette & Woods
guy in the alleged insider trading deal. I told Ralph that while I did not know
James McDermott Jr.
outside of interviewing him on
, I liked him and his old firm very much. I also said that I've learned not to judge anybody, as I have a whole appellate court of angry readers and chat boarders who judge me every day, and I couldn't care less at this point what they say.
When it comes to this personal stuff I am strictly
-variety -- you never know what goes on in peoples' lives behind the scenes. Better not to know!
Then as we were moralizing, Faye Landes came in. Ah, another person from the Street whom I love. Faye, like Ralph, has made me money. Big money. In our business that is the same as saying we are on the same team.
I know Faye from her job as an analyst at
. I had been in
for years and years and when she pulled the stock from the buy list a while back, I was furious with her. But she articulated her position well and got me to sell it, when it was my biggest and most profitable position. It saved me a fortune. The stock tanked unmercifully and I would have given back much of my beautiful gain.
She had also made me boatloads in
when that stock ramped and predicted the stock demise of
, a great short of mine. She's charming and upbeat and one of those good souls who make this business worthwhile. I don't want to say what transpired on the show with her because it was so funny and so different that if I give it away now before you have a chance to watch it tonight or Sunday morning, the drama will lose a lot of its luster.
Next thing I know, we're wired, miked and painted and out on the desk battling it away. Suffice it to say it was our best show, but one that made me pine for an hour, as we had to stop every single conversation except the last well before it should have ended. Many of you know me by now; I get depressed when things don't go right. By the end of the show I felt anxious that we had only scratched the surface with these two great ones. I wound up asking everyone whether everything was just too truncated. All agreed it was.
Remind me: New Year's resolution. This show needs more time. I'm going to put my shoulders under this issue and fire up to blow the line off against it. Might have to throw a face mask in too, provided no zebras are looking.
Have a great holiday.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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