“Mad Money” host Jim Cramer blasted billionaire investor Peter Thiel on Tuesday for selling the majority of his Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares, saying the move was “completely outrageous” and “tawdry.”
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Thiel sold about 20 million shares last Thursday, with about 5 million shares remaining in his portfolio. While acknowledging that Thiel had the legal right to sell his shares, Cramer disapproved of the move.
“The fact that something’s legal doesn’t mean it’s fine in my eyes,” said Cramer. “In light of all the money Thiel has made over the years, it just seems tawdry to me that he’s cashing out here.”
Cramer added that he had hoped insiders would actually buy more stock “as a way to show faith in the underlying company,” which is trading at roughly half its May IPO price as investors respond to slowing growth.
“To me, Thiel’s sale is basically saying, ‘Hey, all you chumps who bought Facebook, listen up. I am a responsible investor and a megatron gazillionaire, and I know better than to own this piece of trash.’ I hope you see that’s the case, too,” Cramer said.
At the very least, Thiel should have canceled the prearranged sale, Cramer contended, or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should have asked him to postpone it.
“It just seems wrong to me from the point view of the billions of dollars lost by everyone who came in after Facebook came public,” he said.
“Look, we all know that we live in an anything-goes era for the rich, whether it be asking for tax breaks that are much lower than the not-so-rich get, or rigging markets, or blowing up balance sheets and [leveraging] to the point of irresponsibility. No one ever has to pay. Other than the Mad Money Wall of Shame, I don’t even really believe that there’s much outrage about these travesties, at least not in public.”
Cramer said he would feel shame were he a part of the social media giant. “But maybe I’m just old-fashioned and it’s me, not them, that’s out of step with this outrageous era of avarice and greed.”