- why people need to lay off Bernanke;
- who the best retailer is; and
- why you shouldn't play Apple based on its patent battle.
Enough With the Bernanke Bashing Posted at 3:02 p.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 31 Enough Bernanke bashing already. I am sick of it -- just sick of it. Let me ask you a simple question: What have the other central bankers done right that makes him seem like such a dope to so many of you? Sure, the Fed chief was slow to recognize the housing bubble that was created by his predecessor's attempts to stoke the economy after the burst do-com bubble that his predecessor created by never raising margin rates. Sure, he should have cut to the bone in 2008, but commodity inflation was raging. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll However, since then, Bernanke has done his best to get housing restarted -- working -- keep retail afloat -- working -- and generate some construction of late. This is all within the confines of a totally dysfunctional government that includes the worst partisanship since the Civil War. Does everyone blame him for that, too? Have you ever listened to Congress when they badger this man? It's insane. They know so little it is a wonder that he even stays on the job. In the interim, what have his colleagues done? Let's see, last year, former European Central Bank President John Claude Trichet raised rates twice. That was brilliant! That nailed inflation in its tracks, didn't it? That has to be the dumbest policy move of the decade. The ECB has still not come to grips with its crisis the way the much-derided Bernanke has. We would really be calling for those guys' heads. As it is, we had to listen to a totally wrong Fed president from St. Louis who advocated tightening here at the same time Trichet wanted it. Is that what the Bernanke bashers want? A little solid tightening?
Secrets of Retail Winners Posted at 8:38 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 30 The best retailer on Earth reported yesterday, not that anyone cares. I am talking about the amazing numbers from privately held J. Crew (which, actually, have yet to be reported because of some public debt that was sold to finance the buyout). They are breathtaking.
Apple's Patent Win Isn't Enough Posted at 10:04 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 27 Will Apple ( AAPL) now use the patent to go after Samsung with everything it has and get injunctions against Samsung to block all selling of the illicit phones? Or will it just demand a huge licensing fee from Samsung and say that if Samsung won't pay it, Apple will move all of its semiconductor work to Intel ( INTC), which will have all of the chips Apple needs from the new factories it is opening now? Both are terrific options. But you have to understand that the patent win in itself isn't enough to drive earnings per share, given that companies such as Samsung will stall and do whatever it can, and it can do a lot, not to play ball the way most companies we know would deal with this. In other words, we are not dealing with some U.S. company that fears pressure or the Justice Department or the wrath of consumers. We are dealing with one of those faceless Asian companies that can do and has done pretty much whatever it wants, or it wouldn't have lost in the first place. No company that did what it did is going to abide by a verdict, especially one that will be viewed as coming from a "backyard" jury, one right in Apple's bailiwick. So, sure, it can be another reason to buy Apple and another reason to sell Samsung -- although I wouldn't sell Google ( GOOG) on it -- but until Apple gets an injunction or pulls its chip biz from Samsung to Intel, I am playing Apple on product intros and earnings only, and so should you. Random musings: I am continually impressed with Tim Armstrong and what he has done for AOL ( AOL). What a godsend that guy is. Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long AAPL.