Friday, October 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

How Lenny Dykstra used TV's Cramer: Update

"Cramer, I am sure, had no knowledge of Dykstra's 'pay to plug' scheme-an arrangement that could well lead to a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation. He was just a dupe..."

How Lenny Dykstra used TV's Cramer: Update

Jim Cramer, right, host of CNBC´s "Mad Money,´ single-handedly created the concept of former Phillie Lenny Dykstra-as-financial genius, according to a new book, "The Zeroes," by failed financial publisher Randall Lane. (Jerry Lodriguss / Inquirer file; CNBC)
Jim Cramer, right, host of CNBC's "Mad Money,' single-handedly created the concept of former Phillie Lenny Dykstra-as-financial genius, according to a new book, "The Zeroes," by failed financial publisher Randall Lane. (Jerry Lodriguss / Inquirer file; CNBC)

UPDATE: I asked Jim Cramer's office at CNBC about the allegations, by Lenny Dykstra's former publisher, that Dykstra was taking money to promote stocks on Cramer's show and TheStreet.com. Cramer's reponse: "I haven't read the book but as the author, Randall Lane, points out, I knew nothing about this issue. Of course it is terribly disappointing." No reply from Dykstra so far.

EARLIER: TV investor Jim Cramer's "star pupil, ex-baseball star Lenny Dykstra, secretly sold access to Cramer and stock endorsements on TheStreet.com," writes failed financial publisher Randall Lane, in his book,  The Zeroes

From Lane's Daily Beast summary:

"Cramer single-handedly created the concept of Dykstra-as-financial genius.... The former New York Met and Philadelphia Phillie became an investment columnist for TheStreet.com in 2005, after sending Cramer an unsolicited email. For the next four years, Dykstra made stock picks, focusing on 'deep-in-the-money calls'—a way to buy leveraged options—for tens of thousands of followers on Cramer's website...

"Cramer, I am sure, had no knowledge of Dykstra's 'pay to plug' scheme—an arrangement that could well lead to a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation. He was just a dupe...

"Helped by the marketing muscle of TheStreet.com, Dykstra quickly sold roughly $1 million in newsletter subscriptions," while leaving Lane with "hundreds of thousands in unpaid bills" from their prior magazine venture. "In the course of our ensuing legal fight—and then doing reporting for my book The Zeroes—I stumbled across his Cramer-for-sale scheme."  More at Daily Beast here.

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Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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