Jim Cramer: It's a Shame About Washington

NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- Look, it's all too bad this is happening in Washington. On Tuesday night we got some terrific auto sales out of Europe -- numbers that were so good, you could have easily seen earnings estimates getting raised for both Ford ( F) and General Motors ( GM). We also had some figures out of CSX ( CSX) showing that, at last, the coal numbers couldn't bring down the rest of the growth because of intermodal transport. We know that Intel ( INTC) said it sees consumer electronic demand bottoming out. While I don't want to own Intel because its growth is too slow, I could make a case for owning a lot of consumer-related hardware names -- as well as the usual suspects, like Micron ( MU), Best Buy ( BBY) and even, yes, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ).

But what does it all mean? What are you going to do? Are you going to buy some Seagate ( STX) off the Intel call and then discover that Senator Ted Cruz has thrown a monkey wrench into the Senate plans -- or, if you are pro-default, that the Tea Party has stood up to the leadership and has voted down anything the Senate has sent over?

What good does it do to buy more Ford off of Europe numbers if you don't know whether Ford Motor Credit will be able to offer attractive deals in a default? Moreover, if 80 million checks aren't sent out by the government, will anyone care about the numbers being reported? People would be more likely to stop spending than they'd be to accelerate.

Yes, that's the key to the moment. People keep wanting to quantify what a default or a near-default or a technical default would mean. Here's what it would mean: Less business will be done because the credit markets will be imperfect, in the same way that 30-day Treasury bills soared in yield yesterday, particularly after Citigroup ( C) said it had gotten out of near-term paper.

There will be selling pressure. Rates did go higher for that end, and on a default they will go higher for much of the curve. P/> If you think that's good for stocks, then go buy some CSX and some Best Buy.

I think it's bad.

Random musings: We saw unbelievably good numbers from Regeneron ( REGN) last night on its cholesterol-lowering agent. That's good for Regeneron, but bad for Merck ( MRK), as it is three times more effective than Merck's option.

At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long F.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:46 a.m. EDT on Real Money on Oct. 16.

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