Click here for an archive of Jim Cramer's Mad Money Recaps. Click here to get Jim Cramer's Mad Money Post Game video exclusively on TheStreet.com.
Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday that he's appalled at the latest charges aimed at
Chairman Ben Bernanke.
He called the questioning of Bernanke's integrity by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) simply outrageous.
Cramer said even when he was most critical of Bernanke for not lowering interest rates fast enough and not stepping in to buy bonds and help the ailing credit markets, he never questioned Bernanke's integrity.
He said Bernanke should be regarded as a hero for helping to navigate the country out of what was looking like a second Great Depression.
Cramer said it would be an outrage if baseless allegations tarnish Bernanke's image and prevent him from being reappointed next January.
He said the markets today could've rallied on the heals of
better-than-expected quarterly results had it not been for these shameful headlines.
"We need this guy," Cramer concluded.
Performing Without TARP
Cramer welcomed Ron Hermance, chairman, president and CEO of
Hudson City Bancorp
, to the show to find out how this stand-out bank is navigating the recovery without TARP funding.
Hermance said that Hudson City is very well-capitalized. He described the company's execution of its business plan as "hitting a lot of singles" rather than trying to hit home runs. Hudson City delivers consistent earnings through high asset quality and low operating overhead, he said.
Hermance also said Hudson City is benefiting from the net interest margin, the difference in the rates paid on deposits versus what it charges on loans. As interest rates continue to fall, Hudson City continues to profit, he said.
Asked about the company's stock buyback program, Hermance said that much of the company's buying is being done below the company's book value, meaning that the purchases are actually accretive to earnings.
Finally, when responding to critics who feel Hudson City needs additional reserves, Hermance said the critics are not taking into account the bank's loan-to- value ratio of 62%. With so much equity already in the assets it loans against, additional reserves are not required, he explained.
Cramer continued to throw his support behind Hermance and Hudson City Bancorp.
Cramer also spoke with Andy Puzder, CEO of
( CKR), to get comments on the company's latest quarterly results and a response to allegations that discount burgers are eroding earnings at fast food chains.
Puzder said that while earnings were flat on slightly lower same-store sales, "treading water is OK," given price pressures, high unemployment and higher remodeling costs at many of the company's restaurants. He said his company is not participating in price wars and will keep the prices of their premium burgers right where they are.
Puzder did note some postives in the quarter though, including a great response to the company's advertising, especially in digital formats, and a great response to introducing breakfast items at its Hardee's chain.
Cramer said sometimes good is indeed good enough and told investors to consider the future at CKE, not the present. He reiterated his recommendation, which is already up 12.5% since May 22.
Outrage of the Day
Cramer sounded off against pay packages at
. He called it outrageous that bonuses are being paid to people at a company 34% owned by the government.
Cramer said he's not in favor of risk-free pay plays, which only work to breed risky behavior. He instead advocated a two-tier system, where short-term incentives are paid to those who pose no risk to the company, and longer term, vesting incentives to those who can put the company in jeopardy.
Cramer said he understands the need to keep good people at Citigroup, but he says he cannot support pay packages that don't make sense, especially for one of the most troubled banks around.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
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 from his latest book by
For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here
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."
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.