It's hard to think of anyone more intense or opinionated, or who wears as many hats as James Cramer. In Confessions of a Street Addict, the man who first made a name for himself on Wall Street successfully managing his hedge fund--and then became famous on Main Street with his manic appearances on CNBC--tells the improbable story of his career as journalist, Wall Street pundit, Internet entrepreneur, and television commentator. For the most part, Cramer manages to avoid the self-congratulatory hype that mars so many books of this ilk; in fact, what makes Confessions so compelling are the shots that Cramer takes at himself, be it his now infamous capitulation during the stock market panic of October 1998, when he wrote a piece for TheStreet.com advising readers of an impending crash just as the market began to rebound, or the callous way he treated so many around him in pursuit of the next trade. Here's an informative, honest, and rollicking read for fans of CNBC, TheStreet.com, or anyone who has ever lost sleep thinking about their portfolios. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards
From Publishers Weekly
Cramer, famous for appearing on CNBC as the "wild excitable guy [with]... a big mouth and lots of passion talking authoritatively about how you could make money by getting on the Net," recounts his turbulent dual career as hedge fund manager and media pundit. Cramer tells of his lifelong obsession with the market, beginning with childhood scenes of poring over daily stock listings. The story kicks into high gear once he starts juggling his law school course load so he can spend as much time as possible trading (over the phone, in the pre-Internet '80s). After that, the narrative's pace never relents from depictions of Cramer's early days at Goldman Sachs through the launch of his own fund, which led to magazine columns, a near-constant presence on TV, and TheStreet.com. Cramer's description of the financial news Web site's launch is ruthless, not just toward the executives whose scheming and mismanagement, he says, undermined TheStreet.com's success, but toward himself for hiring them and temporarily destroying his long-standing friendship with publishing fixture Marty Peretz. Cramer is equally self-recriminating about the effect his fanatical trading had on his personal life, but clearly still loves to linger over every major deal of his career (and a lot of the minor ones), even perhaps especially if they blew up in his face. This is a lively, informative portrait of the highest levels of finance and media in the last decade.
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