Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: March 16

This article was originally published March 16.

Click here for an archive of Jim Cramer's Mad Money recaps.


On the fourth anniversary of his TV show "Mad Money," Jim Cramer told viewers that he's still looking out for the little guy and trying to help average investors along side the biggest of hedge fund and mutual fund managers who don't always have their best interests in mind.

Cramer reminded viewers that anyone who recommends "buy and hold" are not friends, allies, or teachers, saying that no one can make money in this market without understanding the game and the fundamentals that drive stocks both higher and lower. "Nothing is most important than knowing how the game is played," he said.

According to Cramer, it's easy to make money when the markets are trending higher, but it's extremely difficult during periods like the 56% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that the markets have just endured. "Don't give up," he commanded viewers, citing better times ahead.

Cramer said there are still themes in the markets that are based on long-term trends that can still make investors money. He said he'll continue to opine on both the markets, and politics, to point out what's working and what's not.

Cramer said he's still a believer in the Chinese recovery, and still likes the iShares China 25 Index ( FXI), which he also owns for his Action Alerts PLUS portfolio

He said he's also bullish on the "trade-down" trend of consumers opting for private label brands over brand names. For that trend, he said he still likes Family Dollar ( FDO), Ralcorp ( RAH) and Treehouse Brands ( THS).

Cramer said he's first and foremost an educator, and plans on keeping up both the education and humor, "for as long as they'll let me."

Bernanke Bank Stocks

According to Cramer, there's one man responsible for the market's continued rally, and that man is Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Cramer said it was Bernanke's comments in a recent "60 Minutes" interview that are fueling multiple "mini" rallies.

In the interview, Bernanke said that he predicts economic growth by year-end without inflation. Cramer said these comments have translated into rallies in both the rail stocks, which need economic growth, and the consumer staples, which need low inflation.

Cramer said Bernanke's comments about preserving the American financial system are also fueling the bank stocks. He said that for every day this rally continues, it only builds on the virtuous circle of confidence that's driving the markets higher.

Cramer went out on a limb to even recommend a basket of what he called "Bernanke Bank Stocks" that are now just too cheap to pass up.

On the list of banks stocks to consider, Cramer included Citigroup ( C), Bank Of America ( BAC), US Bancorp ( USB), Blackstone Group ( BX) and Wells Fargo ( WFC).

This basket of stocks, he said, "could be exciting."

Coal's Future

Cramer talked with David Radcliff, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company ( SO) to find out how that company would fare if Obama's cap-and-trade carbon initiative passes.

Southern Company, which generates 71% of its power from coal, would be a likely target for the new program.

Radcliff said there's no doubt that his customers' power bills would increase under the program. For that reason, he said he and others are advocating moving slowly towards Obama's goals and giving utilities more time to change over to newer technologies.

He said that given the ambitious nature of the program as written, many of the middle-class tax cuts proposed by Obama could be offset by higher energy bills.

Radcliff said Southern Company is looking beyond both the recession and cap-and-trade to meet the needs of America. He advocated expanding the country's nuclear energy program, as well as using every technology available, to help meet the needs of a growing country.

Cramer applauded Radcliff for discussing these difficult issues, but fell short of making a recommendation.

Outrage of the Day

Cramer turned his sights on AIG ( AIG) CEO Ed Libby, ceremoniously adding him to his "Wall Of Shame" list of the worst CEOs in America. "Enough is enough," he said.

Cramer said he understands that Libby did not create AIG's problems, he only inherited them, but nonetheless, he's appalled that those who brought down the company still have jobs, let alone are eligible for bonuses. "Where are the subpoenas?" asked Cramer.

Cramer went on to say that for as appalling as the topic of bonuses is, it's only secondary to the bigger issue of AIG's book of business and lack of transparency. He said, "We taxpayers own this company now, we should know everything."

Cramer reminded viewers that in December, 2007, AIG's product group told investors that the company's exposure to CDOs was just $53 million dollars. The losses to date now total over $105 billion. "They just lied to us," said Cramer, who remains mystified that no one's gone to jail.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on ISIS Pharmaceuticals ( ISIS), Ashland ( ASH)and Cypress Semiconductor ( CY).

Cramer was bearish on Prudential ( PRU).

Check out the latest edition of "Cramer's Take onTop-Searched Stocks" on Stockpickr.

Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing by clicking here.

Read more of Cramer's Mad Money Lightning Round insights.

For "Mad Money" performance statistics and other links, check out Mad Money stats

At the time of publication, Cramer was long on iShares China 25 Index.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, TheStreet.com or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor TheStreet.com, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.

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