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March 6, 2006 (FinancialWire) ?(By Gayle Essary) ? As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ponders the fate of journalists it has subpoenaed over an investigation into the manipulative trading scandal known as StockGate, and as SEC Enforcement Chief Linda Thomsen awaits new guidelines before proceeding, there is one enduring image that will be difficult for any of them to ignore
March 6, 2006 (FinancialWire) (By Gayle Essary) As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ponders the fate of journalists it has subpoenaed over an investigation into the manipulative trading scandal known as StockGate, and as SEC Enforcement Chief Linda Thomsen awaits new guidelines before proceeding, there is one enduring image that will be difficult for any of them to ignore; that of media star James Cramer writing ?BULL? on his subpoena on live TV and arrogantly tossing it to the floor.
Cramer, founder of TheStreet.com (NASDAQ: TSCM) and host of General Electric (NYSE: GE) unit CNBC?s ?Mad Money,? shocked the financial world and most legal observers with his action while interviewing Herb Greenberg, formerly of TheStreet.com, and now a columnist for Dow Jones? (NYSE: DJ) MarketWatch unit, who along with Dow Jones reporter Carol Remond had also received subpoenas. It was part of a rant against Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) and others he believes to be behind a ?conspiracy? out to get him and ?journalists.?
FinancialWire has seen some ?interesting? live emails between Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and Cramer, and the irrepressible Cramer recently wrote FinancialWire a dozen times in a single session over various perceived wrongs He is unabashedly a flash point.
Neither General Electric nor CNBC have so far commented on the Cramer ?performance,? nor said whether they believe it is appropriate for a public person and show host to use their airwaves to ?disrespect? an enforcement proceeding.
One thing is certain. When it was over, CNBC?s own poll for Kudlow and Company surprised Larry Kudlow, the host, when over 80% solidly supported the ?journalists?? subponenas, and possibly SEC Chair Christopher Cox, who afterwards did at least a 90-degree turn from his previous reaction to the subpoenas. A poll at FinancialWire went further, saying an almost unanimous 96% of investors who voted believed Cox should be ?rebuked? for failing to support the subpoenas and his enforcement division.
This whole episode was discussed in the line at lunch this past week at the Wall Street Analyst Forum, co-sponsored by Investrend Forums (http://www.investrendforums.com), a sister division to Investrend Information (http://www.investrendinformation.com), which publishes this newswire.
The comments from attendees had by then long passed serious tone.
One money manager said he planned to pull a ?Cramer? with his restaurant check. ?I?m going to write ?BULL? on it and throw it on the floor,? he laughed. An analyst said she was expecting a pretty large cleaning bill, ?and I hope it?ll work there.?
A merchant banker, who preferred to be anonymous, said ?doing a Cramer? with his IRS form is ?certainly a preferable action over the alternative,? which would be paying his taxes.
There were plenty of emails flying around over the subject, as well.
Mark Faulk, of faulkingtruth.com, a site that is opposed to illegal market manipulation, clinched the argument: ?Yeah well, I started throwing EVERYTHING on the floor after I saw Cramer ... dishes, food wrappers from Taco Bell, dirty clothes, it's liberating as he(ck), but I keep tripping over (stuff).?
No one suggested, however, doing it with a subpoena. ?At least not while they?re (regulators) watching,? one said.
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