Is the Credit Crunch Over?

General Electric’s strong credit business is signaling the end of the credit crunch that’s rocked this market since last summer, Cramer told viewers Thursday. And when a Federal Reserve program designed to give struggling banks some breathing room kicks in by the end of March, the investing environment should only get better.

The Fed plans to allow banks to trade in their bad paper for cash. The move will keep four key banks – Citigroup , Washington Mutual, UBS and Merrill Lynch – and the market from diving headlong into what Cramer’s calling a “financial apocalypse.”

But GE , CNBC’s parent company, is key here because the company has its hands in so many different businesses: media, healthcare, finance, infrastructure. There’s pin action off any positive move in stock, Cramer said. GE’s now the new market leader – look how it’s taken up the Dow this week – so he’s dubbed it “the stock to watch.”

“It will tell the story” of how this market’s doing, Cramer said.

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  • Jim Cramer

    Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

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