Look out, somebody's got some cash. $18 billion worth. That somebody is
. And it is flexing its muscles big-time, having just bought
Ben & Jerry's
Let's face it, the market has been so crummy of late that the number of stock-for-stock deals has dropped to almost zero. That typically happens in these bear phases and it can be quite chilling When there are no takeovers that means short-sellers can use the market as their own personal free-fire zone. They can lie on stocks without any concern that they could be hit by a big kahuna takeover bid.
But cash, ah, now that is a different, old economy. Owing to the length of this tremendous expansion, the old economy stocks have cash coming out the wazoo! We know how potent that can be.
I think this
Uniliver bid will rock our more staid old economy stocks and begin the long-awaited consolidation that low stock prices have kept from occurring.
It will be interesting to watch. Foods, drugs, cosmetics, tobaccos -- that's where the action might switch to. We are proceeding accordingly.
Several great articles worth going to right now. Lashinsky scores again with a
fabulous piece about going concern letters. Greenberg tells
the sad truth about the accident-waiting-to-happen that was AT&T. And
Gary B Smith
enters chart heaven with some incredibly
useful heat on
Also, our heartfelt "get better fast and get back on the desk" wishes go to our good friend Neil Glassman, from
derivatives, who is one of the best guys in the business. He has been temporarily placed on the Big DL with a recent illness. Get back to work, Neil -- Wall Street misses you.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Cisco. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at