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In an exclusive interview, Jim Cramer welcomed Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of
, to his "Mad Money" TV show to get his insights on President-elect Barack Obama's economic advisory board.
Schmidt, an advisor on the board, said there was a "tremendous sense of seriousness" in the team's meeting today as it dealt with potential solutions for the global economic crisis. He characterized Obama as someone who listens carefully and is prepared to act quickly to address the crisis head on.
One of the topics discussed was energy independence. Schmidt outlined what he called "Google's energy plan," which like Obama's plan, focuses on using wind, solar, and geothermal energy to achieve energy independence.
The plan, he said, also concentrates on plug-in hybrid cars and creating jobs in America by transitioning laid-off auto workers into industries like batteries and insulation.
Schmidt felt Obama touched a cord with the American people, and that prior financial stimulus programs were a mistake. He said the government should make it a point to hand out money to solve problems instead of passing out checks without a purpose.
He also took issue with much of the financial bailout packages, noting they did little for taxpayers.
Asked about his future plans, Schmidt replied that he has no intentions to leave his job for the post of chief technology officer in the new administation.
As for the impact of the advertising slump, Schmidt said advertising is usually the first thing that's cut in a downturn but called that a mistake. He said he expects advertising spending to rebound quickly and sees exciting opportunities ahead for Google.
Cramer: The Worthiest Stocks Out There
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Next Week's Game Plan
Cramer again urged investors to stick with high yielding dividend stocks.
He suggested investors look into technology names like
, both of which yield 4%, along with consumer plays such as
, both of which should benefit from declining raw costs. Kraft is a stock which he also owns for his
Action Alerts PLUS portfolio
In the utility sector, Cramer reiterated a buy for
and said he also likes industrial electronics makers
A Telecom Gem
As part of his "Invest in America" series, Cramer said
, with its 6.1% yield, should be a part of investors' portfolios. He welcomed Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's chairman and CEO, to the show to talk about the state of the telecom industry.
With its recent acquisition of
and its 11 million wireless subscribers, Verizon has vaulted pass
to become the nation's largest wireless provider.
Seidenberg said the Alltel deal takes Verizon from 70 million to more than 80 million wireless customers, increases coverage in several under-served areas, and allows the company to better penetrate markets across the country. He said the deal represents $9 billion in net present value to Verizon.
Asked about the company's decision to raise its dividend by 7% in the middle of tough economic times, Seidenberg said the move was determined to be the best way to return value to Verizon shareholders.
Seidenberg said there are enormous growth opportunities in the company's burgeoning FiOS Internet and TV network. He said the company is focused on a 10- to 20-year strategy for the network, not the one- to two-year timeframe that many analysts look at.
Seidenberg also cited the company's talks with
over the company's future wireless platforms very important for the company, as is the company's text messaging business which currently serves over 1 billion messages a day.
A Dim Outlook
Cramer also welcomed
chairman and CEO Michael Johnson to the show to discuss that company's recent disappointing earnings guidance.
Johnson pointed out first that the company has delivered 19 consecutive quarters of double digit growth. He said the earnings forecasts were trimmed primarily because of the strong dollar, volatility in the exchange markets that make it harder to forecast profits, and a 3% sales decline in Mexico.
Johnson said the fundamentals at Herbalife remain strong, and the company's 4% dividend yield is not in any jeopardy.
Cramer said he's confident that Herbalife, which has rebounded before, will do so again.
No on Geithner
In his "Outrage of the Day" segment, Cramer told viewers that New York Federal Reserve Chairman Tim Geithner would be a horrible choice for Treasury Secretary in the Obama administration.
Cramer said under Geithner's watch at the N.Y. Fed, many of the current banking problems flourished. He said that Geithner was one of the key decision-makers that allowed Lehman Brothers to fail, a move that cost the economy billions of dollars.
"Geithner should not have a senior administration position," he said.
Cramer was bullish on
Packaging Corp of America
He was bearish on
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Kraft.
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