This post appeared earlier today on RealMoney . Click here for a free trial, and enjoy incisive commentary all day, every day.Editor's note: Jim Cramer will present his 2009 stock outlook for the first time at TheStreet.com Investment Conference on Saturday, Oct. 25. Click for details. How will we know when things have thawed? Everyone's looking at LIBOR and I can't blame them as that indicator of lending from one bank to another bank is crucial for the way the system is supposed to work. It's a good thermometer for certain, but I don't want it to overstay its welcome, because there are other "true" indicators out there besides just LIBOR.
I could see that many projects will still be canceled and that energy and minerals will be hard-pressed to rally given the global slowdown. The radical scale-back at Freeport ( FCX) and BHP ( BHP), coming just a few months after expansion was all that could be talked about, is a true sign of how bad things have gotten so fast. The new rescue plan doesn't buy up houses or make the defaults less if there is double-digit unemployment. But if there is lending, the strong should be buying the weak, or the stocks that have been forced down to levels that represent a severe recession, and we will see whether that happens as it makes all sorts of sense in every industry from pharmaceutical and food to mining and oils. That's what is worth watching for. At the time of publication, Cramer was long Altria, Foster Wheeler and Freeport-McMoRan.