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Cramer’s Person of the Year: Ben Bernanke

Two different judgments of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were rendered on Wednesday. First, Time magazine praised him, naming Bernanke its “Person of the Year.” Then the market rebuked him for leaving interest rates unchanged, as the Dow fell 82 points intraday before rallying to close down 11. Cramer during Mad Money said that Time was right.

There’s no doubt that Cramer has had his differences with the Fed chief – see: “They Know Nothing” – but Bernanke has since sprung to action, taking drastic measures to save the US from another Great Depression. He’s made such a remarkable change that Cramer’s dedicated his new book, Getting Back to Even, to him.

Bernanke all but called a bottom when he declared that no more big banks would be nationalized. He has kept a watchful eye on deflation. He’s acutely aware of the potential damage done by government initiatives – health-care reform, cap and trade – to businesses. And he refuses to make the same mistake as Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in late 1937 withdrew federal aid before the US was fully recovered from the Depression and pulled the country back into a recession.

Ben Bernanke got it right when it mattered, Cramer said. And he thinks the Fed chief deserves Time’s honor.

“You want to short Bernanke?” Cramer asked. “Fine, I’ll take the other side of the trade.”

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