The mutual funds have lost control of the situation. They created a world where they like to own stocks that "beat the numbers" and now the people who gave them the money no longer believe that game is a fair one.
For years I railed against the "hidden hand," which was the way the mutual funds would come in and support and move the market upward for their own ends. They always had so much money coming in that it was never a problem. I always thought it was incredible that conspirators would talk about how the "
" was in buying futures when it was just the mutual funds having some fun, taking the market up.
Not anymore. The money is cascading out. And the mutual funds, because they despise revealing this stuff, just say that everyone is "sitting tight."
We've never had sustained redemptions like this before so we really don't know what to expect. To me, again, it feels like the 1987 crash in slow motion, but even then people didn't lose faith in the long-term value of stocks as they have now.
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James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made.
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