Cramer: Can't Wait for Hope

Editor's note: This column by Jim Cramer appeared earlier today on RealMoney.com. For a free trial to RealMoney, click here.

I don't know about you, but I felt it this weekend. I felt it with friends at dinner on Friday. I felt it during my walk on Saturday and my dinner with friends at Blue Smoke on Saturday night.

I felt it when someone whispered in my ear before the Van Morrison concert that I was right and we elected a Leninist. I felt it at brunch on Sunday, and I felt it as I watched Slumdog Millionaire Sunday afternoon. I felt it when I tried to go to sleep on Sunday night.

I felt the prices, the screen, the action, the sense of a vortex down that can't be stopped, of stocks going worthless, of savings being tattered, of equities without bottom, but this time in slow motion, not like 1987, when Karen Cramer predicted a crash and we were all in cash at my hedge fund.

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No, I felt the total lack of control that we are all feeling now, the "It is out of my hands," the "Where is the authority?" the "Wow, it is amateur hour at our darkest moment."

It is the feeling of capitalism vanishing, of equities going worthless. Of businesses capsizing on their own weight.

It is the feeling not of a crash but of a slow-motion accident that never seems to end and never gets us to where things are cheap.

It is the feeling that there are no realistic adults, and even Warren Buffett, with his self-flagellation over the purchase of an oil stock, is just whistling past the graveyard of equities.

I will not fall prey to hope right here. I will simply fall prey to cold hard facts: Destruction of capital will be the way until stocks trade at absurd multiples and companies are taken over by bondholders, and many companies are taken over by the government.

Unless we go in with that attitude, we risk being too bullish for the intermediate term -- I am not talking long term because Keynes was sure right about that -- and discussions about the market being cheap are misplaced when equities are acquired by the federal government.


Know What You Own: In midday trading on Monday, the most active stocks included Citigroup ( C), Bank of America ( BAC), General Electric ( GE), Wells Fargo ( WFC), Intel ( INTC), Cisco ( CSCO) and Dell ( DELL).

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Cisco and General Electric.

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 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.

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