One of the basic strategies of Cramer’s fomenting, he said, was, that in the situation a hedge fund (such as his own) was holding a short position in a company which reported excellent quarterly news, the fund would call up brokerage houses and either feed them bad news / blatant lies, or order a huge set of short sales — suggesting that investor confidence in the company was falling. The slew of bad news would create a temporary fall long enough for the manager to resolve his short position and conclude a tidy profit.
Cramer refused to talk about some of his techniques, saying he was “not going to say it on TV.”
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, said the CNBC reporters used this technique to spread lies and rumors about his company, combined with a slew of bad / false financial reports and analysis around the Internet and otherwise.
Many analysts are suggesting that much of the CNBC enterprise and Jim Cramer’s specifically success came from a strong understanding of how to control the system — control the news, you control the stock.
“We had it down to a science in 1992: my wife would pick stocks that technically looked ready to go up, or she would keep track of merchandise to see what was down to tag ends. She would then generate a list of stocks that could move quickly on good news. Jeff would then go to work calling the companies to try to find anything good we could say about them [...] we would load up with call options and common stock and then give the good news to our favorite analysts who liked the stock so they could go do their promotion. That would get the buzz going and we would then be able to liquidate the position into the buzz for a handsome profit,” said Cramer in his 2002 book Confessions of a Street Addict