Skip to main content

This post appeared earlier today on RealMoney. Click here for a free trial, and enjoy incisive commentary all day, every day.

Image placeholder title

A world without




Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Free Report

will not be a better world. I am not coming with some silver-lining nonsense. All of the other players will benefit when it happens, but that benefit can't be felt until all of the chaos is sorted through.

The idea of a "plan" for these two, so obvious after




, isn't even on the table, let alone something to execute. We know that the books of both are so meaningless -- thanks to an


that has pretty much given up its mission -- that we must experience a huge amount of pain as these two are sorted out. Then we will have to be ready for


(AIG) - Get Free Report

collapse, which won't be long.

Lehman's happening a tad faster, but that's now obviously because it was a terrible underwriter in Europe.

It's pretty amazing that in the end, bad mortgages -- issuing them, packaging them and then getting stuck with any or even buying them (as I think Lehman did when Erin Callan ran the firm) -- meant the end for these firms. Mortgages.

They had such faith.

When Lehman was corralling people in the media to tell them the shorts were pushing them down, I wanted to believe them.

But this Lehman Brothers was more of a


and a

New Century Financial

, an issuer without a deposit base, like Bear.

Washington Mutual's more outrageous. It suspended its underwriting standards to take nationwide share. It was simply out of control.

In each case, the blame goes squarely on the leaders, Jimmy Cayne, Dick Fuld and Kerry Killinger. They wrecked their firms. They disgraced themselves.

Now, because of the velocity of these collapses, we have to go down huge. We had to manage the black holes slowly to make things work.

We didn't.

There was no plan.

And now, all financials will have to suffer the consequences, which when coupled with the oil futures signaling no demand will mean lots more money lost before the black holes are filled.

I know all of this, in the end, will be huge for

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Free Report

-- that's Lehman's ultimate competitor -- and

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Free Report

, the big winner against Washington Mutual.

But first we have to get there.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Goldman Sachs.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of He contributes daily market commentary for's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for and, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

Action Alerts PLUS. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" weeknights on CNBC. To order Cramer's newest book -- "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer),"

click here. Click

here to order "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," click

here to order "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click

here to get "You Got Screwed!" and click

here for Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback and invites you to send comments by

clicking here. has a revenue-sharing relationship with under which it receives a portion of the revenue from purchases by customers directed there from