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September 8, 2000
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To: James Cramer
From: Daniel Aragon Ulibarri
Thank you for accepting an email. My wife and I are subscribed under the free trial. I am writing because of an article you wrote, because of what happened in the market to telecommunication and tech stocks (i.e., Intel), and because of the lack of commentary on what was going on. I am writing because, from reading between the lines of your commentary, you really know the truth.
In a commentary, YOU pointed to the potential for a bullish market because institutional type investors and other big players were coming back from vacation and would have to account for their weak portfolios in their next report. They had clearly missed out on the August surprise (strong techs and communications).
Instead, Rakur (whoever) comes out with this downgrade based on a weak demand for chips and the NASDAQ tanks. All of a sudden one analyst and some supporters change everything--with no data to back it up. Intel drops like a hot potato and pulls all other businesses in the food chain (or thought to be--e.g., Flash memory) down with it. PANIC hits the small investor and there is no BIG challenge or in-depth inquiry as to what is really going on.
As a new investor I worked feverishly (until physically exhausted) to try to get some fix on the INTEL and the downgrade. I couldn't find anything of consequence or intelligence at professional sites (e.g., The street, Smartmoney, etc..) regarding what was going on other than reporting of the facts--Nasdaq stocks hit, Intel down etc.,--but nothing to provide insight, prognosis, prediction or anything. Surely you and other experts must have an opinion, been suspicious or had some type of mental-electronic stimulation to your brain to have wanted an answer and to seek direction just as us "regular-Joe" investors. Wouldn't you? But there was nothing other than disagreement between a few analysts and comment on the guys guts.
It didn't make sense to me because the analyst had been bearish for most of the summer and then in August these two areas picked up. Techs in particular picked up because investors (not institutional) were convinced that there was a demand and the market was healthy (okay, Greenspan hadn't done anything too).
Here was an instance when the "CHAT BOARDS" showed the professional up (at least the FOOL's chat board). There were links to data on chip demand that showed RECORD sales, growth and demands. There was commentary on the self-interest. There were accusations of a conspiracy based on evidence that Thompson's I-Watch" showed INTEL and AMD stock being bought up by institutional investors--virtually dark-blue arrows UP all day. All which could be verified.
This made me think back to your article about how institutions needed to account for their mediocre performance. And the proposition that the stock market was being manipulated, big time, came to mind. It was in the realm of possibility that institutions were opening the way for them to get into the Nasdaq area (and I include communication next,if not rallying now) to cover their BEHINDS for being overly risk aversive or marginally competent (for the salaries they get paid).
I also begin to think about why there was so much "bearism' pushed during the summer. Here is my scenario of the so-called big shots strategy:
"If I can keep the market down while I'm on vacation" I won't miss anything. I'll bad mouth the techs, biotechs and other fast movers and I'll just put my investments in these slow companies, the DOW indices and take a break. Of course I'll talk up the Dow.
Summer ends, the big-boy investors come back and low an behold they missed the boat. People can actually think for themselves and were able to see through the PR and make investments. WHAT TO DO? I think you know the rest.
Now, behind the scenes deals were made and stock was grabbed while the rest of the USA citizenry investors were hung out to dry. By this I mean WE were not provide any useful information from YOU, The Street or anyone else we might subscribe to. Your profession let us down big time and all of you should be ashamed of yourself as professionals and human beings.
Let me lay it on the table. You big boys (I'm writing you because I believe you have the POTENTIAL to be an exception and might do something about it), are nothing but weak, little, overblown FAKE competitors and capitalists. You could not survive under real competition so you manipulate the market to get a leg up. And in the end you pat yourself on the back like you were actually good at what you do--YOU CHEATED.
Sure there is no law against that. But it goes to what Joe Lieberman said: "There are things that are legal but still aren't right!" Although I think this border on illegality. Will you support and SEC investigation of what happened? Will you clean up your profession? Can you be successful under real competition. I think so. Why not get rid of all the phonies and let true investors be rewarded. Let's use the market, the capitalist system and competition work so that real progress can be achieved.
In Australia they say "All I want is a FAIR GO." Meaning that they don't want to be at a disadvantage because of someone else's privilege.
Something SMELLS here and I wonder if you or others will address it. Or is this the way it is and we all have to go along with these stinking business and interpersonal practices that slowly grate the world we are creating for our children.
I hate to be melodramatic, but I for one am tired of people patting themselves on the back for being able to get away with cheating. I am tired of average Joes and Joeannes being SCREWED because they act with integrity. And we wonder why sports, celebrities, and others think they are above the law, why our inner cities and suburbs children are killing each other, and why minorities are demanding for subsidies. Have you made enough money to take a position for you and your business to take a stand for what is RIGHT for America and human beings everywhere.
If you can fight the little guys and the guys that hide behind false names on the chat board, do you have the integrity left in you for your family and your children to take on the BIG BOYS?
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