Without the Paulson plan, or if the plan is so watered down and delayed, I have been saying all bets are off and we could be in for a huge swoon. How huge?
I like to sit down and noodle on the actual components of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
to give you a real sense of what can go wrong. And there is so much going wrong. The credit markets are vanishing, the earnings are vanishing and the only hope is a plan that ignites credit markets, forces money off the sidelines and gets this economy and the worldwide economy moving again.
Not long ago, I postulated that this market is literally repealing all of the moves since the Brazil-Russia-India-China emergence that gave us better markets to sell into than just the U.S. With the collapse of Chinese growth -- they have simply ceased to be importers since the summer -- the inflation in India, the war in Russia and a U.S.-led slowdown in Brazil (although that remains a robust market) BRIC is more like having a brick around your neck than a wind at your back.
Meanwhile, the peak in energy and the collapse of the financial system have left both of those groups in disarray with valuations simply too difficult to pin down, so you retreat to worst-case scenarios where you can at least find some terra firma -- mainly where stocks were last time things were this bad.
Cramer: Dow's Most Bearish Scenario
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Given that most of these companies bought back stock at high prices and issued stock to executives, the actual value of the buybacks seems almost nonexistent, so the value that was created since those hard times is hard to see.
Finally, in a recession like we are having, one can only guess how badly the consumer will be scalded. This list of prices is about a scalded consumer.
I don't want to bury the punchline, but when you add these worst-case prices together you get Dow Jones 8378, which, reluctantly, I admit is where we are going if everything fails with the plan and the economies here and worldwide are left to their own devices.
Let's run through the Dow 30.
can retreat back to $43 where it started both before the housing boom and before the energy boom and before BRIC became a dominant force. All of its markets will be challenged with housing downturns worldwide and energy prices retreating from highs, something that I think will happen as economies slow.
-- $14. This is where it traded before the short-selling rules were created on July 15, and this is where it is going without a financing and a big investment. It might not stop there if there is no relief at all. I am really bearish on this stock without a plan.
has a lot of businesses that are less cyclical than people think and a safe dividend. I would be surprised if it went much below $40, where I would like to buy it.
has turned into a terrible lender with a product that is viewed as something that is no longer indispensable, courtesy great marketing by
. This stock's headed to $31, maybe lower, as it is really a weak sister in the Dow now.
traded at $25 when people thought there was nothing to it other than a declining advertising business and an expensive group of theme parks. This is a company I will buy for
if it hits that downside target.
is a BRIC derivative for certain with too much aerospace and a defense business that could be hurt by an Obama election. Knock it back to $51, which would be a repeal of the whole BRIC move.
talked recently about how it is not immune from a retail sales slowdown; when it did, the stock retreated to about $48, where it would surely be headed again.
is a play on worldwide growth in a number of industrial areas, and worldwide growth is on the decline beyond what this fine firm is ready for. It could have a huge decline in earnings, and I am putting it at $50.
, without a plan and without a handle on
and on the right kind of cars, will burn through the bailout money quickly and disappears. Yes, it goes bankrupt. Stocks don't get down to where they are like this one if something hasn't become out of control. This one's out of control.
-- I think it could trade down to $20. The decision to end the buyback, which was just wasting a gigantic amount of money, is now behind them, so all it would have to contend with is lower earnings and a less turbo-charged report.
Check back in a bit for my projections for the other 20 components of the Dow.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long GE.
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