This post appeared earlier today on RealMoney. Click here for a free trial, and enjoy incisive commentary all day, every day.

Image placeholder title

The rescue package didn't occur fast enough. It didn't occur fast enough for

Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Report

to get rid of the bad loans, and it didn't get to help

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

in time.

Wachovia was a decent bank that made a really bad acquisition, and if the bill had passed soon enough, it could have split itself into a good and bad bank. It didn't get done in time.

And now Wachovia is dead.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

will now be a stronger bank for it, because it

can

take advantage of the bill and dump all of those Golden West assets. It is also good that Citigroup is buying the WB bonds. That the bonds are OK means total chaos will be avoided.

This is a terrible story. Bob Steel was trying to work out a good deal for shareholders. I believed in him. But once the marks on the Washington Mutual loans were taken by

JPMorgan

(JPM) - Get Report

and they were much lower than Washington Mutual carried them for, Steel could not pull it off.

It is a great shame. His plan would have worked.

He just didn't have time.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long JPMorgan.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder 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

Action Alerts PLUS. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" weeknights on CNBC. To order Cramer's newest book -- "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer),"

click here. Click

here to order "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," click

here to order "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click

here to get "You Got Screwed!" and click

here for Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback and invites you to send comments by

clicking here.

TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Amazon.com under which it receives a portion of the revenue from Amazon.com purchases by customers directed there from TheStreet.com.