The other night, someone in a different business asked me what the reaction has been to my harangue that some managers let you down during this period. I thought for a second, and realized that, unlike pretty much everything else that I write about here, my view was
controversial: Customers of these poorly performing funds and executives at the funds themselves are uniformly embarrassed by the rationales and the alibis and the excuses given by the worst of the performers. They are shocked at the lack of contrition and the inability to admit that things got out of control. They think that most of these managers won't even survive this phase, because they will be revealed as underperformers for the short, middle and long term.
It gets worse. Many of the behind-the-scenes folks think that these managers should be ashamed of themselves for this "long-term" mantra and would do better to just admit that they bought the wrong stocks. One or two have said that, indeed, their charters prevented them from making money, but nobody I respect blames the charter for losing 30%, 40%, 50% or 60%. That's just poor management.
What really resonates is the notion that, in any other business, these kinds of losses would lead to firings, retributions and effigy burnings. Instead, these losses seem to lead directly to a trip back on television to Justify -- eternally, it seems -- crummy performance. The feedback has emboldened me to continue to search and expose the biggest gunners out there, the ones who play no defense and never met a risk they didn't love.
I guess you could say I am just getting started.
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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. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column to