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While the bears may be looking for any excuse to take the markets lower, Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday that comparisons to Japan's economic worries over the last decade should not be one of them.

Cramer said any comparison of the U.S. stock market to that of Japan's Nikkei average, which fell 82% from 1989 to 2008, is just ludicrous. The fact is, he said, we are very different from Japan and are not repeating the same mistakes they made in the 1990's.

According to Cramer, today's top line GDP number was not as important as its underlying trends. Consumer spending increased by 2.2% in the quarter, indicating that the U.S. is still spending. That was not the case in Japan, where spending virtually stopped.

Japan also saved their banks, even the toxic ones, noted Cramer, while here in the U.S., Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is forcing banks to eat their losses.

In addition, there are major differences between the two countries, he said.

One notable difference is population. Between 1980 and 2008, the Japanese population grew only 8% and is expected to begin declining soon, he said. During that period, the U.S., population grew by 34%, spurring spending and economic growth.

Japan is also an older nation, with an average age of 44, versus 36 in the U.S., he said

"Stop comparing," Cramer told viewers, adding the decade of economic stagnation is not happening here.

Inflation Insurance

Cramer once again welcomed Sean Boyd, CEO of Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM), to the show to discuss the outlook for gold as a hedge against inflation.

Boyd said Agnico-Eagle is now getting good cost production after an earnings hiccup at the end of 2008. The company plans to have six mines operating within a year, all of which will be operating at an attractive cash cost. Boyd said Agnico-Eagle has healthy margins on ever expanding production.

When asked about gold reserves, Boyd said his company, which has 15 years worth of gold reserves, owns 100% of its properties. He said that arrangement allows it to expand its mines into adjoining areas, a move that is significantly cheaper than starting a new mine from scratch.

As for the company's capital structure, Boyd said Agnico-Eagle is proud of its 27-year dividend, adding it supports a strong dividend in the future.

Cramer said owning gold is a responsible way to invest. He recommended Agnico-Eagle, as well as the SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) index.

Beyond the Stock Metric

Cramer also welcomed Ron Shaich, CEO of Panera Bread ( PNRA), to discuss that company's stellar quarter results and Wall Street's subsequent punishment of the stock.

Shaich said the measure for a company is not its stock price on any given day, but the performance over long periods of time. He said Panera delivered on the earnings it promised, and is holding to its full-year guidance. "The fundamentals are good," said Shaich, noting the company's 39% earnings growth this quarter.

Shaich said Panera is sticking to its strategy of 15 years of delivering real food served by engaging people in environments that excite people. "The stock will take care of itself," he said. The real question for Shaich, "can we keep up with the demand."

Cramer remained bullish on Panera, calling it a real opportunity for investors, despite Wall Street's pummeling of the stock today.

Am I Diversified?

Cramer spoke with callers to see if their portfolios have what it takes. The first caller's portfolio included Conoco-Phillips ( COP), General Electric ( GE), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), Wal-Mart ( WMT) and Intel ( INTC).

Cramer said he liked all of these stocks and added "this man knows how to play the game."

The second caller's top holdings included ExxonMobil ( XOM), Coca-Cola ( KO), Ebay ( EBAY), Parker Hannifin ( PH) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ).

Cramer called this portfolio "unbelievable."

The third caller had Duke Energy ( DUK), Conoco-Phillips ( COP), Bunge ( BG), Freeport McMoran ( FCX) and Ingersoll-Rand ( IR) as their top five stocks.

Cramer said "hallelujah" to this portfolio's mix of stocks.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Gamestop ( GME), ConocoPhillips ( COP) and BP ( BP).

Cramer was bearish on Wal-Mart ( WMT), Dendreon ( DNDN), Jacobs Engineering ( JEC), Nucor ( NUE), Activision ( ATVI) and Canadian Natural Resources ( CNQ).

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

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

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long ConocoPhillips, BP, Wal-Mart, General Electric, Freeport McMoRan.

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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