What Is That Merrill TV Ad About? - TheStreet

What Is That Merrill TV Ad About?

Members, you tell us. Hey, maybe Merrill will find out what the commercial is about, too.
Publish date:

So, I am watching the


game with my wife -- nirvana for me -- and this weird

Merrill Lynch


ad comes on of a smoky town meeting, that looks like a reel lost from

High Noon

. I've seen it before, so I ask Karen to take a look at it.

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She watches as one person after another gets up to try to describe some new compensation system for brokers at this town meeting. The lineup concludes with some white-haired guy talking about how the plan may mean that brokers will get compensated by the size of the portfolio. Or by what the brokers made for you. Or something. It's not clear. I turn to her and say "What kind of authentic Western gibberish was that," an allusion to the confused town meeting in

Blazing Saddles

meant to satirize the

Hign Noon

town meeting.

She tells me that she thinks this commercial meant that Merrill Lynch will now reward rich people more than poor. The more money in your portfolio, the less they will charge you. I said that it sounded like if they didn't make you money you didn't have to pay them. I said it sounded like that Merrill was anti-Net. She said it sounded like Merrill was pro-Net. Finally, we both gave up, marveling at the sheer impenetrability of the spot.

So, I put it to you, members. What is that commercial about? You tell us. Hey, maybe Merrill will find out what the commercial is about, too. Until then, I am sticking by my original judgment: That's authentic Western gibberish those folks are speaking.

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