For a fleeting moment this morning I had this thought: we are too negative. Things just aren't that bad. The markets will shake Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report off.

And then I read the stories about breaking up Microsoft, particularly the one in the

Washington Post

that made it clear that a breakup would be catastrophic for shareholder value. (Don't blame the reporter -- he was just quoting Mister Softee President

Steve Ballmer


That certainly brought me back to reality. The decline in the futures (despite the best laid plans of

Buzz and

Batch -- did the latter oversleep?) drove whatever happy thoughts I might have had out of my head.

Meanwhile, the papers are doing their best to keep the balls in the air. There is that terrific story about how advertising won't be hurt by the decline in the dot-coms. I love that one. Why not complete the canard by claiming that this will be THE year of the dot-com spend! And then there was that article about how stocks aren't affected by lock-up expirations.

The Wall Street Journal

picked up a First Call/Thomson Financial study that showed no harm no foul when the lock-ups expire. Funny, I had never known Thomson to get things so wrong before. May I suggest to the Journal that they look at the study by

Steve Galbraith of

Sanford Bernstein

research which shows the exact opposite conclusion? Unlike the Thomson study, Galbraith has to make money for his clients and this one is amazing.

Or maybe the WSJ should just look at my trading losses, mostly generated by sticking around as we got closer to a lock-up expiration. Then there is that interesting article about how rookie money manager Steve Harmon is going to run a mutual fund to augment his newsletter. Oh boy, will this one be a tightrope walk. Will Harmon load the boat up on his thinly traded names and then come on


and mention that he loves them and then not trade them? I don't mind as long as he discloses. I hope others don't. (And while we are at it, kudos to Greg Hymowitz, a sometimes-criticized guest on CNBC, who nailed



several times. Looks like that dog has fleas galore. Nice call!

Of course, not all of the press this weekend was based on fiction.

The New York Times

had a nifty piece about the food stocks! Now there's a place to hide. And I thought the

Peter Canelo interview in our own pages was fantastic, with lots of places to go to look for winners. Oh yeah, and then there is that interesting interaction between Alan Abelson and yours truly in the letters section of


. I guess Alan insisted that my letter run so he could get some snappy-repartee-last- word -- trash-talk that basically amounted to calling me a liar. Ah hah, there is only one problem: I NEVER SENT THAT LETTER TO THE EDITOR. IT WASN'T FROM ME. I didn't send one because I figured that Abelson would insist, as he always does, in having the last word and I actually wanted to end this silly war of his. No matter. They print the letter allegedly from me, without ever acknowledging that I didn't send it, and then he gets in his last licks anyway.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund was short Microsoft. 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