Look, we are in the teeth of the downturn. At this juncture, everything that can go wrong,

will

go wrong. Analyst estimates mean nothing. If they are beaten, it's phony, unless it is in health care. Nothing is working. Nothing.

Image placeholder title

That's the way it is. In 1990, a few years after the crash, it was like this. Everything was falling apart. Oil had spiked, inflation was awful, a war was about to begin, the market couldn't rally except for short-covering. It was a nightmare. We were even worried about

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

-- no kidding, it reports tomorrow and people are worried again. I shorted every bank stock every time it lifted. I shorted every retailer every time it lifted. Every time. I made a ton of money.

Because I knew nothing could go right until the bottom fell out, the capitulation occurred and every bull was slaughtered.

In 2000, every time the

Nazz

lifted, I shorted it. Every time. Nothing could go right. Many of the companies were just phony -- they don't even exist anymore.

It was easy.

It's easy when everything's going wrong.

Everything is going wrong now. It does look like every bank except a handful will go under. Retailers? Most should go under. Even utilities are getting crushed because of dividend slashes. Nothing is safe.

Yet people don't seem to realize that this is what happens. We get government action after action, not working. We get ugliness and panic.

And then we get to where we have to go.

We are obviously not there yet for many stocks. I bet only a third of them have bottomed.

Maybe less than that.

But we have to start accepting that it is all about who can lose

less

and who can be when the upturn starts, whenever it starts. Companies are just like portfolio managers now. They are cutting their losses, right-sizing their businesses and getting ready to take advantage of the turn when it happens.

You have to, too. The more layoffs, the more drastic action, the more right-sizing ... the more likely that they will come out ahead of things.

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It's rough to watch. Tough to listen to. You have to deal with the gold spikes because of the chaos. You have to deal with the earnings estimate cuts because of the chaos. You have to deal with being scared and being freaked out.

And then you won't, when we get to where we have to go.

Until then, you can catch an

Ingersoll

(IR) - Get Report

on the long side. You can buy companies that are levered to China and expect some bounce.

You can buy the

Gold Trust

(GLD) - Get Report

and

Agnico Eagle

(AEM) - Get Report

when they sell off, knowing that on each piece of chaotic news they will rally.

I do

not

want to be more encouraging. I just want you to recognize that that this CHAOS is what happens at this point in the cycle, People throw up their hands. They can't believe how low

P&G

(PG) - Get Report

can go, or

Pepsi

(PEP) - Get Report

or

Heinz

(HNZ)

. They can't believe that household names can go bankrupt.

Again, it's the way it is. When we get really oversold, we bounce. When we get really negative, we bounce.

Then we start all over again.

Get used to the rhythm. Try to lose less. But know that you may not be able to get in when it turns, like so many who didn't get in in 1990 and didn't get in for the 2003 reversal in the Nazz.

Again, that's THE WAY IT IS. Those who think "this is the bottom" will, like 1989 and 2000-2002, be blown out,.

Don't be blown out.

That's who loses.

Those who recognize the negativity, the pain, the

horror

if you will, will survive and can prosper, just like the companies that take hard action and work their way out of this jam.

That's pretty much all she wrote.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Procter & Gamble.

Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

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