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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- "There were some serious wrecking balls out there today," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his

"Mad Money"

TV show Monday, as the markets closed down on another roller-coaster day.

He said the threat of $4 a gallon gasoline and the deluge of earnings estimate cuts that could follow is looming larger than ever.

Cramer said even some of his most favorite companies, like

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Ciena Corporation Report

, got hit hard after it delivered what by all accounts was a terrific quarter. But that's to be expected, said Cramer, as we've seen this pattern before.

Cramer recalled how in the fall of 1990, Saddam Hussein caused the markets to behave very similar to how they are today. He said every day the markets would rally on rumors of Saddam's death, or capture or exile, only to come crashing back down as those rumors failed to materialize. Cramer said the only strategy that made sense then, and now, is to sell these rumors, not buy into them.

But Cramer said investors shouldn't leave the table, as eventually, Gadhafi will be defeated, or exiled, and the world will return to normal. He said the markets will likely rally 1,000 points on that news, unfortunately we just don't know from what level that rally will begin.

Cramer told viewers they don't want to be overly long in this market, nor do they want to be overly short. He encouraged defense, and picking up opportunities as they arise.

Weighing Canadian Banks

What's the best way to play the banking recovery? It's not with a U.S. bank, Cramer told viewers, as he looked to the great white north, in Canada, for some solid banking growth. Cramer said Canada didn't have a major housing crisis like the U.S., which makes its banks far more stable than our own. He then looked at Canada's top five banks, to see which ones made the grade.

Cramer said that

TheStreet Recommends

Scotiabank

(BNS) - Get Bank of Nova Scotia Report

is primarily an international growth play, with 50% of its revenues coming from outside of Canada. However the bank is not his favorite, as it trades just one point off its 52-week high. Cramer said he'd consider it on a pullback.

Next was

Bank of Montreal

(BMO) - Get Bank of Montreal Report

, the value play of the Canadian banks, according to Cramer. He said Bank of Montreal isn't the highest quality bank, and thus isn't his favorite either, even though the bank does offer a 4.6% dividend yield.

Third was

Canadian Imperial

(CM) - Get Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Report

, which Cramer said was his least favorite of the top five. He said this bank was hardest hit, and had the most exposure to the U.S. markets. He said while the bank didn't cut its 4.2% dividend, it didn't raise it, either. Cramer said Canadian Imperial was his least favorite.

Fourth was

Royal Bank of Canada

(RY) - Get Royal Bank of Canada Report

, a solid bank making inroads into the riskier capital markets game. Cramer said this stock has a lot of volatility, and he'd be cautious.

Finally, there was

Toronto Dominion

(TD) - Get Toronto-Dominion Bank Report

, which made the cut for Cramer's most favorite Canadian bank. Cramer said Toronto Dominion delivered an 11-cent-a share earnings beat and an 8% boost in its dividend when it last reported, and is doing well with its acquisition of Commerce Bank in the U.S., as well as a chunk of Chrysler finance.

Riding Oil and Gas Expansion

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Alan McKim, president and CEO of

Clean Harbors

(CLH) - Get Clean Harbors, Inc. Report

, which is up 33% since he first recommended it in June, 2010. Clean Harbors recently delivered a 10-cent-a =share earnings beat on a 22% increase in revenues.

McKim said Clean Harbors' growth is definitely being fueled by the expansion of the oil and gas industry. He said in the Canadian oil sands regions, 1.5 million barrels a day of oil are being recovered, and there are plans for five to six million barrels a day in the future. He said all of these plants will need huge amounts of service and maintenance and that's what Clean Harbors provides.

Turning to the controversy here in the U.S. surrounding hydraulic fracturing and water contamination, McKim said that "fracking," as its called, has been a around a long time and is very successful. He said the main issue is not an environmental one, but rather one of building the infrastructure needed to use the procedure responsibly.

McKim explained that an average fractured well can use upwards of four to six million gallons of water, and the key will be to provide clean water for that well and to recover and recycle as much of that water as possible when the procedure is completed. "The technology is available," said McKim.

McKim said that the new technology now being deployed will transform energy in the U.S., both in the natural gas and in the oil markets in areas like the Bakken region of Montana and Wyoming. "This is the right place to be," McKim concluded.

Cramer said Clean Harbors has a great story to tell and he's still a believer in the company.

Beyond Land Lines

In a second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of

Windstream

(WIN) - Get Windstream Holdings, Inc. Report

, a company whose stock has been struggling as of late as it transitions from primarily a land line telco into one with broader offerings. Windstream currently offers an 8% dividend yield.

Gardner said while Windstream does continue to lose land lines to cell phones and cable companies, the company is offsetting that loss by moving into other areas. He said the company's revenue decline shrunk from 5% in 2009, to just 2% in 2010 and is looking even better for 2011.

Windstream is making up for its losses by expanding into broadband access, data centers and also providing fiber optic services to cell tower sites. The company also received $200 million in grant money from the federal government to provide broadband to the most rural of areas.

Gardner said that Windstream is constantly looking for new opportunities to grow, and because of their non-traditional approach, the company doesn't have a lot of peers for analysts to compare them to. He said the company's data center business alone is a real hidden gem for the company, but also one analysts frequently overlook.

Cramer said he's a believer in the Windstream story, and feels the company's monster 8% dividend yield is safe.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

(HOT)

,

Marathon Oil

(MRO) - Get Marathon Oil Corporation Report

and

Polypore

(PPO)

.

He was bearish on

Advanced Battery Technologies

(ABAT)

.

Closing Comments

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer sounded off against the pundits who endorse raising interest rates to slow the economy, which he said will, in turn, lower the demand for oil. Cramer said this plan is totally idiotic, saying putting the brakes on the entire economy isn'e needed to bring oil prices back under control. He then outlined three easy steps to solve our nation's sky-high oil problem.

First, Cramer said the government needs to sell oil futures contracts against our strategic reserves to stop the rise of oil futures cold in its tracks. Second, the government must be vocal about its support for Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which will help prevent unrest from spilling over into these countries. And finally, Cramer said Congress must pass the natural gas act to subsidize 18-wheelers converting from oil to natural gas.

With 18% of our nation's oil imports going to fuel 18-wheelers, Cramer said this final step would significantly cut our nation's dependence on foreign oil, and bring the oil market back into balance.

--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Scott Rutt

.

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To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC

.

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clicking here

.

For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, clickhere

.

At the time of publication, Cramer was not long any stock mentioned.

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."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, TheStreet.com or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor TheStreet.com, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

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.