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From ‘Very Good Bank’ to ‘Got Nothing for Shareholders:’ Jim Cramer’s Dubious Advice for First Republic

by Tony Mormile

Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s Mad Money, has once again missed the mark with another one of his predictions for the stock and equity markets.

Less than two months after calling the embattled First Republic Bank a “very good bank,” the TV personality has turned around to tell the company’s shareholders that there is nothing for them as US authorities have taken it into receivership.

A “Very Good Bank” Turned Sour

First Republic Bank was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation on Monday after a week full of financial issues.

The bank’s troubles started in March when Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) had significant outflows. On March 10, when US authorities shut down SVB. Cramer tweeted that First Republic was the new focus, commending the bank.

FRC is new focus… very good bank

— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) March 10, 2023

On the contrary, the financial institution had severe liquidity issues, forcing it to reduce its borrowings and suspend dividend payments to stockholders.

Within the following week, 11 major US banks had to come together to infuse $30 billion in cash into First Republic to curb the impending banking crisis. Unfortunately, the company’s woes worsened as depositors withdrew more than $100 billion by the end of the last quarter.

US authorities stepped in over the weekend to protect depositors and worked out a purchase agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank. First Republic’s stock has fallen from levels above $200 to $2.98. When writing, the stock was trading at $3.51, a 71% decline from its price a week ago.

Inverse Cramer Strikes Again

While First Republic’s shares tumbled last week, Cramer released statements that contradicted his previous stance on the bank’s future. On one occasion, he praised his colleague David Faber, a financial journalist, for saying that the bank would have a hard time surviving the weekend.

Kudos to my colleague @davidfaber for saying that First Republic would have a hard time surviving the weekend when there was massive buying in the stock in the first half hour of trading. What the heck? Other outlets were saying the opposite with no real evidence

— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) April 29, 2023

A few hours after the FDIC announced the sale of First Republic, Cramer congratulated JPMorgan for their purchase and told the former’s shareholders that they had nothing left.

It is worth noting that Cramer’s controversial stance on the future of stocks has become a norm such that investors now bet against his predictions in a movement tagged “Inverse Cramer.” The TV personality made similar moves with SVB a month before its collapse. The crypto market has also had its fair share of the CNBC host’s controversy.

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