Can we show some respect for our elders? Can't we agree that there are some Hall of Famers out there even if their last season was not so hot?
This morning I penned a
piece about how Stanley Shopkorn, in his sign off in the
, said the market doesn't work right any more. Within minutes after I wrote this, I started getting email from people saying who the heck cares about Shopkorn? So what that some old guy says the market doesn't work?
I got the same email after I wrote that there were some reasons to be concerned about the market when Stanley Druckenmiller from
resigned and when Julian Robertson hung up his firm's spikes.
Whoa, wait a second. Wait *$$&*(&**() minute!! When I interviewed at
for an equity job in 1982 I tried to just get in to see this guy. To shake his hand! I have only met him a few times since, but Shopkorn has made more money trading equities than just about anybody alive.
Shopkorn is a genuine titan. If we had a Hall of Fame he is first ballot material. Heck, he would be my first nomination. Someone emailed me, some young turk trader, saying "so what, what did he do lately." To which I say, should Willie Mays be kicked out of the Hall of Fame because of those miserable final innings he had with the Mets? Should Steve Carlton not be included because of his final outings? Does everyone have to go out the way Sandy Koufax or Ted Williams did?
Sure, people may be only as good as their last trades who have not been in the business long or not made more than a billion dollars in trading. But how about if they have? Don't they have something lasting to teach us? Do we really think that when Julian Robertson says it is difficult, that Robertson's no good? Have you seen that guys record? What would you do to have made his kind of money in as many markets as he made it in. Or Druckenmiller?
You are a fool if you think that Shopkorn's views on equities don't matter. You are dope if you think you can master this market, but Druckenmiller can't. You are just plain wrong if you think that Julian was washed up but you are at the top of your game.
The game has gotten hard, if not just plain irrational. At
we are simply trying to game the craziness now. That¿s one of the reasons I like sparring with Bill Fleckenstein. Think back to our chat. He wanted to bet against
because he thought it would have just an in-line quarter.
We took that same information and went long, betting the stock would pick up sponsorship after a so-so quarter and wagering that no one would care about the next quarter, yet. He was right. We were right. We made money. That's what matters in the end. We couldn't play that game if we ran billions. But we can play it at our size. Yes, you could argue that the pools of capital at Soros and Tiger may have gotten too big. You could argue that there is something else at work with Shopkorn.
But to argue that they aren't worth listening to is plainly ridiculous. These guys are titans. You want to know what the titans are saying.
Those of you who think this just a game of shooting Liberty Valance cause he's gotten old, better think again. This is not a gunfight. This is a process of making money. These people were and are masters of the process. Show them the respect they deserve or shut up about them.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund held Dell calls. 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