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"You'll never be a good investor if you don't change you mind when the facts change," Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday.
He lashed out at critics who accused him of flip-flopping on the issue of whether the economy was headed towards another Great Depression.
Cramer said he was one of the first people to start pounding the table over a year ago that the economy and the financial system were headed for serious trouble.
Cramer said the
and Treasury Departments were still asleep at the wheel earlier this year and that the possibility of another Great Depression existed without immediate actions to save the banking system and home foreclosures.
"But then," said Cramer, "I changed my mind." He said the facts have changed, and so did his opinion. Cramer said that while the economy is surely headed for a serious recession, the possibility of a depression is now off the table.
Cramer said that since first sounding the alarm, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Congress have poured more than $2 trillion into the economy, stabilizing the financial system. "They're pulling out all the stops," he said.
He said there is simply not as much to worry about now as before.
"I'm not a bull, nor a bear," said Cramer, "I'm just rigorous." He cited economist John Maynard Meynes who famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
Cramer: Stocks on My Radar Now
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Some Holiday Cheer
Cramer spoke with Bruce Carbonari, chairman, president and CEO of
( FO), to find out if this "accidentally" high-yielding stock is poised for a turnaround as the economy recovers.
Carbonari said the holiday season has been good so far, and credited the stability of the company's spirits business for much of it.
He said the company's premium spirits, while having slowed a bit, is still growing faster than any other segment of the spirits industry.
And while Carbonari also admitted to seeing some additional taxes being levied on liquor around the globe, he called the moves "nothing dramatic."
Carbonari said the strength of Fortune Brands comes from the breadth and balance of its portfolio of companies, which includes liquors, golf equipment and home products.
He said the company's cash flow and balance sheet are strong, which is why Fortune had the confidence to raise its dividend.
Going forward, Carbonari said the company does see opportunities for acquisitions, but will be selective in making them.
Cramer called Fortune Brands a buy, adding if the company's yield increases from 4.6% to 5%, he'd consider it a triple buy!
Tyranny of Short Selling
"You can't say the shorts don't matter," Cramer told viewers. Citing a source from the New York Stock Exchange, Cramer said he can prove just how much influence the short sellers have had on the collapse of the financial system.
Cramer placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of SEC chairman Chirs Cox, who he said had created a "wild west" atmosphere on Wall Street that allowed short sellers to decimate the financials.
According to source, Cramer said during the 12 days leading up to the bailout of
, short selling accounted for a staggering 49% of all trading volumes.
During the same period, Cramer found out 41% of the volume at
was short selling.
Similarily, short selling accounted for 35% of the volume for
Bank of America
, 40%, and Morgan Stanley, 37%.
He said there large short interests caused huge slides in all of these names, almost as large at the short interest themselves.
Cramer again advocated reinstating the Uptick Rule, which is designed to stop relentless short selling and allow stocks a chance to recover during periods of large short interest. The bear raids on the financials, he said, only create panic.
"End the tyranny," he said.
In this segment, Cramer told a viewer that
at $20 a share does not interest him, but that he would interested in Toll Brothers at $18 a share.
Cramer told a second viewer that he is not changing his view on the
CGM Focus Fund
, and he still recommends it.
Cramer told a third viewer that he's still a fan of
Nordic American Tanker
Cramer was bullish on
Enterprise Products Partners
He was bearish on
Atlas Pipeline Partners
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Altria.
Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."
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