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Jim Cramer misses the good 'ole days when the activist investors would actually try to help out the little guys. They would turn around struggling companies and ailing executives who needed to be held accountable.
These days though, it seems like they are going for the big dogs. The best of the best.
"They don't want to lose money, so they pick targets who are already successful and they put heat on them to do even more. In poker terms, they're going after players who have built a straight and trying to get a full house out of them."
The activists know it's a win-win. So while it could be extremely difficult to push a well-run company further, they choose to do so because they are in a no-lose situation.
For years, United Technologies has been the technical marvel that was the best of the best in heating ventilation and air conditioning, defense, elevators and aerospace.
However on Friday, investors learned that the CEO Louis Chenevert may or may not have been spending a lot of time fine tuning his yacht rather than on running his business, resulting in the announcement for Chenevert to retire abruptly.
Whether or not he was sailing around instead of directing the ship of United Technologies, Cramer doesn't know. But what he does know is that Chenevert obviously had a lot of time on his hands, and would have made an excellent target for activists.
"But, then again, United Technologies was down with a losing hand. Therefore no one went after him. That's just crazy," the "Mad Money" host said.
Then there is McDonald's. Cramer is hearing rumors that there is nothing that this company can do to turn itself around. That they are selling the wrong kind of food.
Seriously?! They have a terrific balance sheet with an extensive reach; Cramer thinks there is definitely something they can do to turn itself around. No one seems to want to take on McDonald's CEO Don Thompson though.
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But then again, the activists are shying away from McDonald's because it is in a losing position, not winning right now.
Cramer would love to see a return back to the old days when activism took on the well-performing companies. But that's just not how it works anymore. Chenevert has his yacht and his retirement package, and is sailing right off into the sunset laughing.