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"This is the end of many stocks and many companies," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show on a somber Friday.
He said the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
could fall to 6,000 if the government continues quivering instead of acting.
Cramer placed the blame for today's selloff squarely on the shoulders of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who he said should be calming the markets, but instead is nowhere to be found. This is what happens, said Cramer, when the government is AWOL.
Cramer said it's astonishing that the 100 largest companies in the U.S., which used to be worth $8 trillion, are now worth just $5 trillion. He said as long as people are clamoring to either nationalize or euthanize the bank stocks, the losses will continue.
According to Cramer, neither nationalization, which does too much, or euthanasia, which does too little, will work to save the financial system. He said what will fix it, however, would be offering 40-year, 4% fixed rate mortgages to everyone, especially to those whose mortgages are based on current appraisals. He again advocated forbearance for the banks, with no "mark-to-market" rules enforced.
Cramer said we simply cannot let the chips fall where they may, and the alternative of nationalizing will wipe out the preferred stock and so much more. He said as long as the government dawdles, and as long as both options are on the table, stocks are going to be punished.
A Survivor's Portfolio
Cramer's on record saying that anyone who needs money in the next five years should not be in stocks, but what about for the longer term? He introduced his "I Will Survive" portfolio, a group of stocks which he says will likely go lower in the short term, but will emerge stronger from the end of the recession.
Still Shopping at Wal-Mart
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First on the list is
, a company which just recently raised its dividend and is "amazingly undervalued" said Cramer. He said he's likes
in this space.
Second is retail giant
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS. Cramer said no matter what happens to the economy, Americans are still going to shop.
Third is another Action Alerts Plus name,
. Cramer said he likes BP's 8.3% yield and its strong balance sheet.
, another Action Alerts Plus name, which Cramer said is cheap by historical standards, trading at just 13 times its forward earnings. General Mills, he said, is the perfect eat-at-home play.
Cramer said no portfolio would be complete without a gold stock, and his favorite remains
. Agnico Eagle is poised to capitalize on what is likely to be a multi-year run in gold.
Finally, Cramer said the last item in his portfolio needs to be cash. He said investors will need a good reserve of cash to buy all of these names as they continue to drift lower.
Obama Index Down
Cramer asked viewers, who would they rather bank with, President Barack Obama or restaurateur Danny Meyer? The answer, surprisingly, is not Obama.
On Jan. 21, after the inauguration, Cramer created the "Obama Accountability Index," a group of six stocks designed to gauge how well the new president was handling the tough economic problems. That index, which started at 100, has now fallen 35% to just 65.
Cramer said Obama needs to learn from the Chinese, who he called the greatest capitalists on the planet. He said the Chinese are actually creating jobs with their stimulus, while the U.S. is busy paying off unions and handing out money.
Restaurateur and author Danny Meyer, however, is fairing much better. When he appeared on Mad Money on Feb. 2, Cramer created the "Hospitality Index," a group of stocks which Meyer said would outperform by providing exceptional service.
The index, which included 17 diverse stocks from
, is currently off just 0.3%, far better than the S&P500 during the same time period.
When comparing the two, Cramer said he gives Meyer an "A" and Obama a "gentleman's C."
Cramer told a viewer that he cannot recommend the once great
until their failed CEO resigns.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
Vnus Medical Technologies
Cramer was bearish on
Deere & Co
Check out the latest edition of
"Cramer's Take onTop-Searched Stocks" on Stockpickr.
Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing by
Read more of Cramer's Mad Money Lightning Round insights
For "Mad Money" performance statistics and other links, check out Mad Money stats
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Wal-Mart, BP, General Mills.
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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Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.