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At least the fundamentals are no longer sound. That was my takeaway from the two speeches given by our slow-to-understand government chieftains -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chief Ben Bernanke -- in their back-to-back soothing onslaught.

The short-sellers sure didn't like what they heard. They heard that the government might stand at the ready if things keep rolling over. There was a moment when Hank Paulson praised

Fannie Mae

(FNM)

for the capital it has raised -- about a week's worth of reserves, one quipped -- and there was a sense that the term facility's extension would be the difference-maker for a

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

or a

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

. It sure wasn't a decline in loan losses that had them going.

Cramer: Paulsen, Bernanke Finally Get It

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I come back to the same thing. Unless the government says, "Look, examiners, ignore everything, because we can't have total chaos," and unless the stocks rally so much that they can do meaningful fund raises, Paulson and Bernanke don't have the horses to do the job. Their work yesterday was made easy by an oil future decline that triggered an

S&P

increase.

The Wall Street Journal

had an interesting piece last weekend by Teddy Forstman, a well-known private equity manager, about how we are in inning two of the credit collapse. That's not really possible if the index of financials I follow is down 85% year over year, as I revealed last night on my show. That puts us in the middle innings.

But what changed yesterday is that Bernanke and Paulson found out there's a game going on, and their team is doing really badly. Better than the second inning? The fifth inning? No. Just different. Because they can't stop the crunch coming, but they might have a better idea of what to do when the smoke clears. Too late for the equity holders, but maybe OK for those who buy the hulking masses post-implosion.

Random musings

:

The Star-Ledger

did a nice article about the

Mortgage Lender Implode-o-Meter

that

singles me out for helping the Web site

. I really want to extend thanks to my friend Matt Horrween, my forensic accountant, who had insisted for more than a year that I focus on it.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

Jim Cramer writes about all the stock trades in his charitable trust for TheStreet.com in Action Alerts Plus. Recent stocks he's traded in this account include Schering-Plough (SGP) , Deere (DE) - Get Report and Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) - Get Report.

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