Did you miss "Mad Money" on CNBC? If so, here are some of Jim Cramer's top takeaways.
Who's really to blame for the stock market's implosion? Cramer did the research and found the four funds which he said are the true culprits.
For a little context, Cramer reminded viewers that the CBOE Volatility Index I:VIX , best known simply by its ticker, the VIX, is the gauge of market volatility that everyone follows. Since Wall Street will find a way to trade just about anything, there are instruments, or funds, that you can buy to bet either for, or against, volatility.
And because it's Wall Street, there are even funds that let you bet (and it really is a wager) two or three times that volatility.
Over the past year, the market has seen record low volatility, with the averages moving pretty much in a straight line higher. That led to hedge funds and other high-risk traders borrowing money to short the VIX and rake in the cash.
That was, of course, until actual volatility returned and forced these funds to cover their mounting losses.
Cramer called out the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures (UVXY) - Get ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF Report as one culprit. Today this fund rose from $19 to $28, a $9 gain that, if you were short, cost you $9. That may not seem like a lot, but 110 million shares traded today and this fund was never designed to handle that volume.
Other funds to watch -- and yes, they're all a mouthful to say -- included the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Fund (VXX) - Get iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN Report , which lost $10 a share today and traded 85 million shares.
Also, the Velocity Shares Daily 2X VIX Short-Term ETN (TVIX) - Get VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN Report , which saw 112 million in volume today; and the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Fund (SVXY) - Get ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF Report , which traded 43 million shares, made Cramer's watch list.
Cramer said when the volumes begin to decline in these funds, then the chaos may be nearing an end. But until then, expect more days like today.
Cramer and the AAP say they want to reiterate that this volatility is no cause for panic selling. They are looking at this down market opportunistically. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says investors must be disciplines, because a lot of this selling looks mechanical. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in stocks mentioned.