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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Never play poker with a man named Ben," Jim Cramer quipped to "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Benanke surprised Wall Street by announcing no tapering to the Fed's bond-buying activities.
How could so many smart investors on Wall Street get it wrong? Cramer said it's because the Fed chief completely changed direction since his last comments. The facts changed since Bernanke last spoke which meant Ben needed to change his mind.
Cramer said Bernanke has proven to be highly adaptable in an ever-changing market, and over the last few weeks many things have changed. First, the housing market has slowed significantly as interest rates spiked. Second, those rates spiked a lot higher than anyone expected they would. Then there are the many companies, especially those in retail, that have announced that things are getting worse, not better, going into the second half of the year. Finally, there's Washington, which Bernanke admitted today, can only have a negative impact on the economy.In essence, Cramer said the markets tapered themselves, which meant the Fed had no choice but to stay its current course. That makes for a binary market, with domestic companies meeting estimates that are too high, while those companies that export to the rest of the world having estimates that will be far too low. Just as Bernanke adapted to changing conditions, so, too, must investors, Cramer concluded,. The markets are shaping up to have a very interesting fourth quarter.