NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jim Cramer's regular Stop Trading! program on CNBC was interrupted Wednesday by live coverage of President Barack Obama and BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg's press conference after a White House meeting with executives from the oil giant. Cramer, though, was still present to comment on the event -- and comment he did.
After the meeting between the president and BP's chairman, the men told reporters, separately, that the oil giant will be setting aside $20 billion to fulfill spill damage claims swiftly and fairly; that an independent adjudicator will be around to make sure that the compensation is allocated fairly; and the company's board has decided that it won't be paying further dividends this year.
BP shares barely reacted to the news, although they slide from the red to black during Obama's address.
Cramer, for his part, explained that that's because investors recognize that BP can't be setting aside $20 billion and shelling out dividends at the same time. "It would be irresponsible not to cut it," Cramer said. Furthermore, Cramer noted that "dividends are cut all the time ... and it was in the works to cut the dividend when oil didn't rally."
Cramer believes that $20 billion may not be an ultimate cap for BP; he thinks it could go up to $50 billion. Indeed, Cramer said he feels that $48 billion would have been a more accurate figure to call for and to be put in a bond, given the size and wealth of the multinational company.
Cramer warned Wednesday that there's "no clarity on the cost" of the spill, given that it's impossible to provide a time frame for when it will all end. "We can't stop the darn spill and that's the issue," Cramer asserted. "This is not an analyzable situation." Still, Cramer told investors, if you think the relief wells that BP is drilling to intercept the deepwater well will work, buy the stock at $32.
Cramer's Stop Trading!: Shoe Bull Market
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York
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