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Jim Cramer told viewers on his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is doing a terrible job of selling the bailout plan.
Instead of speaking in plain English, Paulson has made his sales pitch much more difficult to comprehend by using Wall Street rehetoric.
Cramer said that the Paulson plan should be called "Invest In America" and not be referred to as a "bailout" of Wall Street. He said the plan is about keeping people in their homes and banks having the money to lend so that kids can go to college. "It's about cash in the ATM machine," he said, and keeping the problems of Wall Street from spilling over onto Main Street.
Cramer said he's mystified that a plan that is designed to avert economic disaster and possibly turn a profit for taxpayers, could be so hated. He said the financial markets revolve around credit and confidence, two things that totally disappeared last week.
Cramer made his point very clear, saying without this plan, unemployment could skyrocket to 20% to 30%. This is not about saving Wall Street executive salaries, he said, "this affects you." He told viewers they need to stop looking at the plan as a bailout and start looking at the facts.
Cramer advocates doing whatever it takes to get the Paulson plan passed and passed quickly.
In his hunt for stocks that can survive even the worst of economic times, Cramer recommended spice-maker
Cramer's thesis for McCormick is simple: In hard, uncertain economic times, McCormick's spices sell well because people eat out less and cook more at home. The company commands 50% of the herb, spice and marinade market in the U.S. and France and 40% of the market in the UK.
Cramer likened McCormick to his earlier recommendation of private-label food maker
( RAH). With fewer people buying luxury foods and instead opting for store brands, the demand for spices and sauces can only increase. A recent study indicated that 37% of consumer mentioned price as the No. factor influencing their food buying decisions, ahead of even location.
Cramer said McCormick is also a play on healthier eating. The company is currently promoting the many health benefits of its spices and other products In addition, Cramer called the company very shareholder friendly, with a 2.3% dividend yield and $49 million left in its share repurchase program.
"Bad markets send good stocks down," Cramer told viewers. However, he said he would only be a buyer of McCormick if it reports a better-than-expected quarter this week. If the company misses the estimates, Cramer told viewers to take a pass as the markets will surely send shares tumbling.
Staying a Step Ahead
Cramer welcomed Dan Deinst, CEO of
Sims Metal Management
, to the show for another take on the health of the economy outside of Wall Street.
Deinst said that while the scrap metal business is, has been and always will be a volatile one, his company is still thriving. He said the world has never seen a business like Sims Metal before and his company is providing real leadership in trying economic times.
Deinst said that while smaller competitors are now choking on falling steel prices, Sims has been able to use its size to both foresee and capitalize on falling commodity prices. He said Sims has been able to lock in lower prices and continues to benefit from the sustainability of its business model.
Cramer said Sims is another example of a "real world" company thriving outside of the financial chaos.
Am I Diversified?
Cramer spoke with callers and evaluated their portfolios. The first caller told Cramer he had these stocks in his portfolio:
Cramer said that Eaton, Johnson Controls and Trinity are three of a kind in the industrial space, calling the portfolio far too concentrated in that area. He recommended adding a defense stock and a consumer stock. He also said to sell Genentech and not get caught up in the takeover bid.
The second caller's top holdings included
Cramer said this portfolio was also too concentrated, only this time in household appliances, with Whirlpool and Masco. He recommended selling Whirlpool and replacing it with a food or beverage stock.
The third caller's portfolio included
Johnson & Johnson
as their top five stocks.
Cramer identified Duke and Spectra as two of a kind and recommended swapping Safeway in favor of
. He also said that Boeing, which is in the thick of labor troubles, needed to be sold.
The final caller's portfolio included
Cramer flagged Schlumberger and Apache as two oil stocks, noting Schlumberger should be replaced by a defense stock.
Cramer was bullish on
Research In Motion
Nordic American Tanker
He was bearish on
James River Coal
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At the time of publication, Cramer was not long on any stock.
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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