During the October 1987 crash the
fell apart. You couldn't trade it. Markets shut down. Screens were meaningless. I remember trying frantically to get anyone on the phone. The lines would ring and ring and even the best firms wouldn't pick up. It was a real travesty.
Yesterday the Nasdaq dropped 13%. It was business as usual. The center did not collapse. The bids and offers functioned fairly smoothly. You could move millions of shares of the big-cap stocks fairly even with the screen markets.
Sure, at the 1:30 p.m. bottom it was difficult to sweep the street and take 50,000
-- as if anyone would want to do that.
But the Nasdaq worked extremely well.
I point this out because in 1987 I was one of the loudest boobirds of the Nasdaq. It is important to point out when people and systems get things
Yesterday was one of those days. Congratulations to all who have made that system work so well in the interim between crashes.
Looking for signs of a bottom:
leads with "Bear Market Rumbles on Wall Street: Matt Lauer goes to the Nasdaq site for coverage." (What a joke that place is by the way. It is just a bunch of screen projections. I could set that up in our den!) Notice how these journalists have now started talking about "tech stocks" the way conservatives talk about "liberals." They use the term with disdain to mean companies with no earnings. Was I the only guy thinking about
Cider House Rules
? Sorry, I am who I am.
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James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Cisco and Intel. 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