When the Margin Clerk's Finished

Cramer says you don't want to be on the Net playing field until he's done his business.
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Margin selling doesn't surface at the opening. It needs a powerful opening and a lasting rally to vanish as a factor.

Oops! We came close to it, but I don't think we got enough lift to make the difference.

The margin repo man doesn't care that

E*Trade

(EGRP)

added a ton of new subscribers or that

Knight/Trimark

(NITE)

dominated Internet trading.

The repo man hasn't seen the new

Media Metrix

(MMXI)

numbers, but he wouldn't know them from the

National League

batting averages he just checked.

He doesn't know about

Lycos'

(LCOS)

roaring page views.

He doesn't use

drkoop.com

(KOOP)

. In fact, he always mistakes the real Dr. Koop with the

Quaker Oats

(OAT)

guy.

And he thinks

1-800-Flowers

(FLWS:Nasdaq) is just another 800 number.

Oddly, what we are seeing is that as the margined players collapse, the stocks of solid tech companies shine. These are owned by cash players and investors -- cold money -- and we will learn to treasure that shareholder base.

After the margin calls, we will have such terrific values that the bricks-and-mortar people will be fighting with us for shares.

Until then, I am waiting for the margin clerks to finish their work. The repo man is too grim a reaper for me to trifle with.

You don't want to be on the Net playing field until he's done his business.

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.