Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: March 18

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"Ladies and gents, it's time to buy a house," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday.

He said his prediction last year that a bottom in housing is coming in just 105 days from now is looking better and better by the day.

Cramer again sang the praises of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for not only adopting many of the ideas Cramer has been preaching, but also setting up what he called a pending economic explosion.

He said with the Fed's announcements today, Bernanke has single-handedly created the 4% mortgage rate that Cramer said would be needed to stabilize home prices and stop home price deflation.

Cramer also commended the Fed's new loan programs that will help hedge funds buy up the now not-so-toxic mortgage backed securities. He said that these moves, along with the reinstatement on the uptick rule, and new mark-to-market accounting rules, are exactly what the banks, the markets, and the economy needs.

Cramer said he doesn't care if these moves hurt the dollar, saying that a weaker dollar actually helps U.S. businesses compete in the global marketplace. He said it's far better for the Fed to do too much, than too little.

Adjusting to the Recession

Cramer talked with David Steiner, CEO of Waste Management ( WMI), to find out just how recession proof the waste business is.


Steiner said Waste Management's business is split evenly among residential, commercial and industrial waste services. He said that while the company's residential and commercial businesses are recession-resistant, about one-sixth of Waste Management's overall business is levered to construction and other economically sensitive areas. He said it's in that area that the company saw a 10-15% drop in volume this quarter.

Steiner also cited commodity costs as another variable. He said the huge fall in commodity prices has affected the company's recycling businesses, but he's now seeing prices begin to stabilize.

Steiner said that while Waste Management has huge fixed costs, he's making efforts to right-size the operation, adding the company's 5% dividend yield is safe. Waste Management has plenty of cash to pay it, he said, and he expects cash flow to grow in 2009.

Steiner said Waste Management is also looking for acquisitions and expects to meet last year's target of $250 million worth of mergers. Cramer said he's still a big fan of Waste Management.

AIG in Perspective

"President Obama has made this rally possible," Cramer told viewers, "but now AIG ( AIG) is putting that all in jeopardy.

Cramer said even after the huge market rally and all of the positive news last week, including profitable banks, oil and copper prices trending higher and better than expected retail numbers, AIG still has the power to undo it all. AIG, he said, has put it everything on the line.

Cramer explained that if Obama changed his tune, from one of demonizing the banks and not seeming to care about the markets, to one of optimism and an understanding that stocks to matter, this rally wouldn't have happened at all.

But now with AIG back in the limelight, Obama needs to continue that tone, and realize that for as despicable as AIG is, it's the exception and not the rule.

"AIG is not the poster child for all of the financials," said Cramer. AIG is not like the rest, and we cannot demonize all of the banks or the Dow will quickly drop right bank to 6,500, he said.

Am I Diversified?

Cramer talked with callers about their portfolios to see if they have what it takes. The first caller's portfolio included Verizon ( VZ), BP ( BP), Freeport McMoran ( FCX), iShares China 25 Index ( FXI) and Caterpillar ( CAT).

Cramer said this is a perfectly diversified portfolio with a good yield.

The second caller's top holdings included Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), Foster Wheeler ( FWLT), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), Martin Marietta ( MLM) and Pfizer ( PFE).

Cramer identified three of a kind with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol Myers and recommended selling Pfizer and Bristol Myers in favor of an industrial and an oil company.

The third caller had Nordic American Tanker ( NAT), NYSE Euronext ( NYX), General Electric ( GE), Altria ( MO) and Verizon ( VZ) as their top five stocks.

Cramer said this portfolio was perfectly diversified.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on Raytheon ( RTN), Service Corp ( SCI), Darden Restaurants ( DRI) and CVRD ( RIO).

He was bearish on Walt Disney ( DIS), Motorola ( MOT) and Capital One Financial ( COF).

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

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Freeport McMoRan, Caterpillar, Foster Wheeler, Johnson & Johnson, iShares China 25 Index.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of 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, 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 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, 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, 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 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, 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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