Is this rally real or just a prelude to further declines in the market? Market doomsayers see an eerie similarity between the Great Depression and now, but Cramer on Thursday disagreed. He said the differences couldn't be more apparent and that investors should stay confident in a recovery.
“Right now I think the systemic risk has been taken off the table,” Cramer said. “In 1930, it was just getting on the table.”
The apparent link between last century’s great economic calamity and our present-day woes is a run from the bottom. Back in 1929-’30, the Dow rallied 46% over a period of 147 days, but then followed with two full years of declines. By the time it ended, the Dow had lost 85% of its value. Well, as of Wednesday’s close, the Dow had added 46% in 145 days, or since the March 6 low. Does that mean we’re destined for the same drop that rocked the market almost 80 years ago?
Cramer said no because the situation was markedly different then. The banks had yet to collapse, the Federal Reserve was raising interest rates, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was devastating US trade relationships, and the White House was balancing the budget rather than stimulating the economy. In 2009, though, the worst of the financial crisis is behind us, and almost no one believes the system is still in jeopardy.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has done a great job of flooding the economy with money and making credit available to the companies that need it. Just last week, Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco told Cramer that production is ramping back up. President Obama passed a stimulus in February that’s far from perfect, but it is helping. Plus, we have social safety nets today that didn’t exist in the ‘30s – Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and so on. All of these conditions mean that a recovery is much more likely now, while their absence most likely made the Great Depression much more severe.
“Forget look-alike charts [and] focus on the fundamentals,” Cramer said, “because they tell you what the future will hold. And based on the fundamentals, the future seems downright bright to me right now.”
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