NEW YORK (Real Money) -- If you are sweating out American jobs because of this oil decline, forget about it. The unemployment rate is spiking in Williston, N.D., and in the twin cities of Midland and Odessa, Texas, but there's been a surprising lack of a fall-off in employment even in Houston.
If you are worried about lower oil and high-yield U.S. oil debt, you are fretting too much because a gigantic amount of private-equity money is waiting to pounce.
This is my biggest fear. I think there are bond houses in this country sitting with this stuff and hoping oil goes up, because they look every day at PBR's stock and shudder and sputter and think, "Our goose is cooked if this thing doesn't start going up."
I wish I had an answer. I believe that debt is worth something, but given the corruption scandal and investigation, and the cloudy financials, who the heck can tell?
(TheDeal has a great story on this that notes the real is down 16% this year.)
Put PBR on your screen. This company, which was once worth $350 billion, seems to be sinking toward oblivion. If that amount of debt collapses all at once, the redemptions for these funds sitting with the paper will be horrific.
Ultimately, I think the damage will be contained; however, I still haven't read a word in the mainstream press about how bad this is or seen an article about which firms in this country reached, incorrectly, for that nice fat yield.
Petrobras is a worry -- a real worry.
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 4:02 p.m. EDT on Real Money on March 13.
At the time of publication, Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS held no positions in stocks mentioned.