TheStreet.com's Jim Cramer says it'd be easy to follow the herd and doubt the staying power of this rally, but that's not his style.
People think I am nuts . . . even more than usual. All they can talk about at the cocktail parties and the lunches and on the Street is how bad things are. They want to hide in gold. They want to hide under the bed. They think that every move is false and every rally must be sold. The negativity is so thick that even my closest friends think that I am being wishful about the turn. Oh, and heaven forbid there would be one positive article in The Wall Street Journal about this market. Just one!
Here's what I have to say. Sadly, I am not a young guy anymore. I am a middle-aged 54-year-old who has been trading since 1979, and while that may mean I have been trading wrong and getting everything wrong for 30 years, it is entirely possible -- and my bank account empirically demonstrates -- that maybe I know what the heck I am talking about.
As someone who was way out on a limb telling people to get out at 11,000 and 10,000 and saw minimal downside at Dow 6300 and just said to wade back in -- it's on tape, don't dispute it -- I feel that I have earned some credibility on this rally. I also love the fact that my good friend Doug Kass called this one, and I freely admit I rode and continue to ride his coattails. There's no pride in making money; the money is what matters.
Think about it. Never in my life have I heard an "all clear" for trading. It's never been easy and obvious. The moments of the biggest turns are called when things are darkest, not when they are brightest, and things were pretty darned dark back in September and then in March, when it seemed that the president didn't believe in the stock market or think it was significant. He got the message fast.
I am proud that my tirade about the president's lack of understanding of the 401(k)/IRA decimation -- even though it created a firestorm of criticism from the Oval Office and its media acolytes -- helped change Obama's view of the importance of what we write about here, according to my friends close to the White House.
Much has happened in the last month. I could go into all the details of the programs and the proposals, but what matters is this: We are not repeating the errors of Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. It isn't happening. I was extremely critical of Ben Bernanke for not buying huge amounts of mortgage paper and cutting rates as low as possible. I was front and center on this. It took him from the spring of 2007 until the fall of 2008 to realize that he was off the mark, but he has roared in and saved the day. It is possible for people to change.
Tim Geithner was an unsure-of-himself former Fed boss who was inconsistent and made some big blunders during the nutty period that was 2003 to 2008 (and it is truly a shame that he has never owned up to them, as President Obama boldly did yesterday), but he has come up with a decent plan to get assets moving again. The rate reductions coupled with the mortgage bond buys of Bernanke have brought rates down to unprecedented levels, fueling applications for new home purchases and refinances in record numbers. That's how you get a housing bottom.
And it is true that the mark-to-market rules were not what I wanted. I wanted more liberalization. But what we got was just enough to dovetail with the just-enough public-private plan and the just-enough TALF plan. You see, none of these is a silver bullet. They are brass bullets that just keep being shot until some of them get through. You have to consider this battle as if it were like the movie Predator. Think how much those soldiers had to throw at that bad boy until he went down. That's what they are doing now.
Yet relatively few people believe. I have received a tremendous amount of not-so-agreeable mail (I avoided the term "hate" because that rises to the embarrassing level that a Jon Stewart feels toward me) about my stance. That, because I am stubborn, just makes me dig my heels in further.
I think this is the real deal. My gut says it, my head says it, gold says it and the bull/bear index says it. My friends, unfortunately, just don't buy it, but I am not backing down. I just want the market down.
I have some cash on the sidelines for Action Alerts PLUS and I want to get that back in before everything gets away from me.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Gilead. Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO.