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Jim Cramer

fills his blog on


every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:

  • why international bank stocks shouldn't do well;
  • why you can't trust the headlines coming out of Europe; and
  • why you need to buy gold.

Click here

for information on


, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.

International Bank Stocks Should Be Down

Posted at 2:47 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The international banks don't deserve to rally.

They don't. They don't tell us what they are involved in. They own instruments that I bet they don't understand. They are always saying they have collateral, but it doesn't seem to work for them. They have hedges that don't work. They write insurance they can't value. And they never disclose what they do or don't own.

We are at a juncture where we are willing to accept the collateral damage of what can happen here after the banks or a country collapses. In other words, you have to believe that, say,

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners


, will get hit because, after all, it is stock, and all stocks will get hit simultaneously when the parade of big bad events occurs, if they let them occur.

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So will, of course,


(C) - Get Report



(JPM) - Get Report


Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report


The difference is that the banks are in the center of the blast zone. They have long thought they have to be international banks with substantial positions and business in Europe including business that they have had to do to remain a presence. We know JPMorgan has exposure, we just don't know how much. We can't take their word for it that all is well. We have long since learned not to trust financial companies because they are so much more intertwined with other financial companies by virtue of their investment and their brokerage clients. They don't know themselves what they have and I think that the fact that the book values mean so little -- they used to mean the cash liquidation value -- shows you that no one believes. No one. It isn't like the insiders are standing there buying shares themselves.

I am not picking on JPMorgan. All of the majors are faced with the same problems. We can't trust them and we can't say "you know what? I have looked the financial over and all is well," because we aren't even allowed to see what they have owned or put on.

It would be one thing if they were just a domestic lender. We can deal with that blowback, which would be limited to the same initial blast that we get from Europe, the chain reaction. They can come back. But believe me they will not come back as a KMP.

I mention all of this because I think that the banks are trading where they should be trading. So many companies have obvious financials, good prospects and good dividends. Why would we ever need to own companies with weak fundamentals, next to no dividends and hidden obligations?

Makes no sense to me.

At the time of original publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in the stocks mentioned


Still Too Much Guesswork in Europe

Posted at 9:16 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

So many disparate voices. So many people talking to you. The IMF on a lifeline -- how big? A Spanish prime minister. A close aide to Merkel. Someone close to Sarkozy. Nameless people in the Greek government. Finance ministry people from Italy. ECB bureaucrats. Who the heck knows?

And that's what's so hard about this tape. Sure, we can look to the

CurrencyShares Euro Trust

(FXE) - Get Report

. When it drops off, we know we are going to have a tough day, but all we can do is root around to find out why it is dropping off.

We can follow the travails of the actual markets and the financials in the markets. They, too, can tell you how things are for the moment.

None of these indicators, though, is going to say, "We are all clear." And none is telling you what's going to happen tomorrow, just what's going to happen that hour or that minute.

The classic case of the confusion today came from an IMF statement that looked as though the organization had stepped up and was ready to play a major role in trying to stem the contagion.

Stocks rallied.

Then almost instantly, we heard that it wasn't true. IMF still wants to be a bit player.

Market goes down.

Who knows what the truth is?

And that's why I keep coming back to wanting to show extreme caution. If it were just earnings, we could deal. If it were just interest rates, we could deal. Or currencies.

But it is about who knows what. Who can speak for whom? Who is playing a game of chicken?

Who's a turkey?

In that world, you have to be circumspect and act as if at any moment a bank could go under and no one will do a thing to save it. You have to, because we have no idea who is really important and who really has the marching orders and who is just mouthing off to the press. It is maddening, but if you look back at all the pronouncements and the admonitions from these "sources" at all levels, none of it has elucidated what was about to happen. None allowed you to have a coherent worldview.

None is helpful.

So we struggle. We admit that at times we are guessing, and we recognize that if we are guessing, extreme caution is the only way to go. Remember, to me, extreme caution is a hefty cash position and a diversified portfolio that emphasizes yield.

All the rest might work out superwell if things get better, and longer term it might work out no matter what.

But at the moment, it's too risky for most, and most is what I worry about in these columns.

At the time of original publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in the stocks mentioned


Stay Long on Gold

Posted at 12:13 p.m. EDT on Monday, Nov. 21.

Gold is signaling the collapse of the current order, an order that is based on printing money to cover up problems.

If you take the severe medicine that the Germans are advocating, which could mean potentially crunching a minimum of $10 trillion in bank debt, then you have an event that is about as deflationary as possible. Almost everything will be worth less then, and you can see the value of property declining immensely in Europe. In that scenario, you don't need gold for now.

What's incredible is how the market views the deflationary threat more worrisomely than the chaos of a potential smashed euro and civil unrest that might be a given in this scenario.

In other words, right now gold is saying it cannot be used as a safe haven in a deflationary environment even as gold has always held its value in a time of political and economic turmoil.

I think gold's current direction is going to be wrong. Here's three reasons why.

First, I still believe that a run on several banks will start the printing presses going in order to at least slow the coming of a severe recession in Europe that would lead to the destruction of the euro, which is still an important dream for the Germans.

Second, central bank demand from around the globe is the strongest it has ever been as many of the rich emerging market countries want to own gold as do the people of those countries. Third, we can't find the stuff with any alacrity. One look at the third quarter for these gold miners shows the cost of getting the gold out of the ground is way up. The places people are looking for gold are more and more dangerous and unstable. And large-scale projects are proving to be wildly expensive if they work out at all.

Yes, it is true that a severe recession in Europe is bad for gold, but we had one here and how did gold do? It went up, not down. The conventional wisdom about gold has been stood on its head for a decade now. It's too small a part of peoples' portfolios. The market cap of the actual gold companies in total is very small. And other than the hedge funds that are hurting and might be regurgitating their gold, we don't have enough to go around.

Stay long gold. If you don't own any, I would be buying some.