NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The government shutdown is lasting much longer than most had thought it would and TheStreet's Jim Cramer told Debra Borchardt that it's a binary event.
In other words, investors want to own stocks if there is resolution in Washington and don't want to own stocks if the U.S. defaults.
In regards to a stock such as JPMorgan (JPM), Cramer said that investors could factor in a slowdown in its mortgage business, but couldn't factor in a default. (Cramer's charitable portfolio, Action Alerts PLUS, owns shares of JPMorgan.)
Cramer said that the Treasury Department and President Obama said this wouldn't be something to worry about, and yet here we are.With both political parties digging in their heels, someone has to be willing to negotiate. According to Cramer, whoever fails to do so will cause a U.S. default and nobody wins if that happens. Investors can use deep-in-the-money call options to limit risk and use stop orders to limit losses. Cramer concluded that there hasn't been any big pullback to put money to work. The stocks that have had deep pullbacks have had something wrong with them, such as Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Union Pacific (UNP), which have warned that things won't be that good. -- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich. Follow @BretKenwell