Yes, the revelation that Eliot Spitzer spent 800 million dollars on whores over the past six years seems to imply that he was a bad governor and a worse husband. But up until now, we hadn’t actually felt the pain his actions inflicted, so to say we were personally upset with him or really cared whether or not he was forced to resign/got sent to jail/had divorced papers served to his sorry, cheating ass would’ve been completely disingenuous. Up until now. Appearing on the Today Show this morning was a visibly saddened, on the verge of tears Jim Cramer. He comes off as honestly distraught, and in desperate need of a hug. It’s almost too painful to watch, because that’s not the Jim Cramer want to see—we want our Jim Cramer sweating and screaming and diving off a chair into a pile of money on the floor of the MM set. Who knows if we’ll ever get that Jim Cramer back. And for that we say, you go to hell Eliot Spitzer. You go to hell and die!
Well everyone, it’s finally happened—Gary Coleman lost his virginity. The lucky woman was Shannon Price, who not only won the first aforementioned prize, but the second as well, which was Gar’s hand in marriage (third prize is a night with Dana Plato). The whole thing happened back in August but was just made public yesterday, when the nuptial photographs were released. The Post notes that though the differentials are staggering—18 years and 11 inches—Price says her husband’s “sweet[ness]” makes him “10 feet tall,” in her eyes. I know what you’re thinking and my answer is this—who cares that there’s no business angle (or one that we can come up with, though I’m sure FBN and Jim Cramer’s US Weekly will shortly). This is our happy story of the day, except for the part about G to the C possibly being an abusive husband (“He lets his anger conquer him sometimes,” Price admitted. “He throws things around, and sometimes he throws it in my direction.”) which we’re going to just chalk up to an effort on G’s part to no get too tall (in her eyes) for the door frame, or demons associated with the time he and Dudley almost got molested by the bicycle store owner who said, ‘Let’s play Tarzan.’
‘Strokes’ Star Secretly Wed [NYP]
These United States long ago cried Uncle but the President went right-on twisting our elbow behind our back yesterday, insisting that the not-even-great boondoggle plotted in our nation’s capitol could be described with terms like “economic” and “stimulus.” As is usually the case, this is a clear sign that there is nothing economic about the plan and little that is stimulating, unless triggering our gag reflex counted.
As our eyes threatened to glaze over we turned our eyes away from the idiot box and toward the mounting mountain of periodicals that demand our attention each week. For no particular reason we can determine, we received three copies of New York magazine last night. This had the surprising effect of convincing us to turn our attention to the magazine. Note to advertisers on dead trees: you may want to insist that magazines mail multiple copies to subscribers. At least it ensures the mass circulation magazine will be picked up and perhaps an eyeball or two will settle on the pricey ads you somehow still believe should be placed there instead of on, ahem, little websites.
Leafing through the magazine we found ourselves experience a bit of intellectual surprise. We were reading a column by a man named James J. Cramer—as he calls himself in print—and we were agreeing with it! We read on, mouths agape. Had this final act of the Bush administration accomplished reconciliation between Cramer and DealBreaker?
More on the potential reconciliation after the jump.
Last night the doors of the meatpacking district’s Lotus opened up for a party in honor of Jim Cramer’s new book, “Stay Mad For Life.”
The party was hosted by CNBC President Mark Hoffman. During a speech introducing Cramer, Hoffman noted CNBC was just completing their highest rated November since 2000.(Volatility is good for financial news networks.) He also mentioned that Cramer had signed a new, multi-year deal with the network. Media Bistro’s TVNewser reveals that Hoffman also mentioned that he had heard a “big storm” was coming on October 15, the date Fox Business launched, but that CNBC hasn’t “had to move the thermostat at all.”
TV Newser continues:
Asked for a response, an FBN spokesperson said, “Doesn’t Jim need ratings first before wiping the floor with us?”
A host of CNBC types attended the party, including Cramer’s stop trading partner “Erin Burnett.” (Related: anyone else notice how good she looks in that low-cut red number she’s sporting today?) We kind of suspect Cramer is afraid of Bess–something about her love for our bobble-head version of him or calling his nephew Cliff Mason inept when it comes to ladies–so we weren’t terribly surprised no-one invited us.
Incidentally: Lotus is still open? Who knew? We haven’t even thought about that place for at least two years. Probably three.
Stay Mad Party [TV Newsers]
With Ben Bernanke doing as he’s told, you’d think there wouldn’t be much for CNBC pundit Jim Cramer to go batshit crazy over in public, right?. Wrong. You clearly underestimated the depths of Cramer’s dementia. Last night at a Gin Lane party for the man who knew about the News Corp./Dow Jones deal eleven years before it happened, Baird Jones asked Cramer if he’d ever wear a hairpiece. This was the response:
“I would rather blow my head off . . . Never, ever, ever . . . They are phony. They are horrible. Same with hair transplants. I like cornrows when they are in an Iowa field . . . I would never even dye my hair. The only thing I have is my authenticity. No, no, no!”
And sources tell DealBreaker Cramer was later heard telling a group of revelers outside the men’s room that he still cannot get over the fact that back in the Holocaust, Hitler didn’t round up Europe’s hairpiece-affixing men when he was gathering the gypsies and Jews. “I said to him, ‘Adolf, they are just as offensive, if not more. Don’t phone this one in’.”
One wonders if Cramer’s nephew, having inherited the Cramer male pattern baldness gene, shares the philosophy. After all, it’s not like he needs hair to impress anyone—he’s got the iPhone.
Too Much Gin [New York Post]
Or spend on babes, or light on fire–JUST ‘CAUSE HE CAN.
Breaking: Apple Offering $100 Store Credit For All iPhone Owners [Gizmodo]
Cliff Mason, nephew of Jim Cramer, is pretty fly for a connected guy. His interests include water sports (in his Chelsea hot tub), babe magnetism and bubbles (market and live-in). Cliff is profiled in the latest issue of Harvard alum clean-up towel 02138. Some highlights:
Cliff has two well paying jobs. No, really, his jobs pay well. We can’t reiterate this enough, much like the magazine article. His two jobs are writing contrarian things for (the sake of being contrarian) TheStreet.com and writing for Mad Money. I’m not sure what these two things have in common, but it might rhyme with Schmuncle.
Cliff Mason lives in Chelsea, and has a hot tub, which goes against Cliff’s initial attempts to be a hobo living purely off family wealth provided from many generations of successful financiers and the occasional television personality. An excerpt:
Before taking the internship at Mad Money, Mason imagined himself as a writer living a bohemian life. “I didn’t want to work at all,” he says. Two years later, he lives in a two-bedroom apartment with hot tub that he owns in Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea neighborhood, where comparable apartments generally run well over a million dollars.
Despite a diet of seedless grapes and a steady regimen of worship at local Chelsea churches (Equinox), Mason puts up the investment banking aesthetic façade:
Mason has thinning, sandy-colored hair, glasses, and pale skin whose only glow comes from the light of computer monitors.
Did we mention that Cliff Mason makes a load of cash? We’re talking pre-iPhone price cut purchase sort of income. Cliff Mason has more money than he can spend, which is why he can spring for babe-magnet devices like an iPhone:
In one recent video segment, Mason confessed to buying the iPhone because it is “pretty cool” and a “babe magnet.” People earning less than $50,000 could probably spend their money more wisely, he conceded, but that was not his situation, and in any case, he was so busy, he lacked the time to spend all the money he made.
Conclusion – it is tough to be Cliff Mason.
Making Mad Money 
The general feedback to our BonusBumper feature was that it slightly overstated things. Initial reports across the Street reported $110k bonuses for first years at the highest paying banks. When numbers started coming in, most reports we received confirmed that bonuses were $90k – $100k for first years at the top of the range at the highest paying banks.
There may be some less than transparent outliers within banking divisions and Goldman always crashes the summer bonus party late, and may top out the market as it has done the past few years (any word on Goldman numbers or if they’ve been announced yet?), but $100k is a ridiculous chunk of change, especially considering where things were five years ago.
As it stands, bonuses this year represented a 300% increase from 2002 and a 122% increase from 2003, in which the top bonuses for first years at most banks were $25k and $45k respectively.
The bonusbumping is set to continue in spite of Street gargoyles predicting marketpocalypse and more subprime fallout. Record compensation is expected again at year’s end in terms of grown-up bonuses, according to estimates from Johnson Associates. Keep in mind that record compensation would be one dollar more than what was paid out last year, and the percentage increase in compensation is expected to plummet.
One of the people predicting a real slow-down is Jim Cramer, who states in his latest New York Magazine column that:
In the past half-dozen years, the major brokerages in New York added hundreds of thousands of jobs in three areas: mortgage-bond sales and trading, private equity, and prime brokerage (the management of hedge funds’ brokerage accounts). Each has grown by leaps and bounds each year. Now all three are frozen. There are no mortgages to package and sell and no clients who want them. The private-equity deals are all hung. And the way I see it, the hedge-fund business is liable to be cut in half by the chain of mismarking and redemptions. I think that many of these firms have as many as 30 percent more people than they need right now in these departments, and all of them will be cashiered by the end of the year. The lists are being drawn up; the HR people notified. Not too close to the holidays, please! And for those who are left, sorry, no bonuses. The money was all eaten up by severances. Unlike other times on Wall Street, the jobs will dry up across the board, because so many firms have beefed up the same divisions. This time, get laid off at Bear, no walking across the street to Lehman. The departed will be cut off from billions in disposable income that fuel the New York economy.
A little dramatic, but Cramer does have a few good points. There is less pressure on Wall Street firms to dramatically up the ante by doling out big bucks. Since a record number of Big Hitters was reached in June after a record round of hiring, there isn’t much pressure on the Street to recruit, or for firms to differentiate themselves with comp. In fact, it’s the opposite. You’re stuck at the party, and if you haven’t received an invite, you’re unlikely to crash, as hiring freezes are in effect at a number of firms.
Getting laid off, or *only* getting a bonus in the low six-figures is better than losing your roof, or displacing a whole chunk of SoCal. Here’s Cramer again, pulling an opposite Robin Williams (“it is your fault…it is your fault”):
I fear that the pain and contractions in the housing and credit markets could cause as many as 7 million homeowners who bought houses in the past few years to flee or be tossed from their dwellings, even if the rest of the stock market thrives. It’s why I went off the reservation and screamed about this problem on television the other day (my latest unhinged rant). I see what could go wrong. I see how the forgotten man gets forgotten, and I feel helpless because I don’t see anyone doing a whole hell of a lot about it.
Sure Tom Joad may have overstated his income by just a smidge and not read his credit agreement to begin with (it didn’t hurt that Rosasharn was the loan offier), but if nothing else, you should carry the guilt of his impending trip back to the dust bowl with you.
Bloody and Bloodier [New York Magazine]