In Praise of ‘By Any Means Necessary’ Bernanke
Cramer on Wednesday endorsed the Federal Reserve’s latest move prop up the stock market and the economy.
The Fed announced it would keep interest rates at low for an extended period while also buying $600 billion in government bonds, the latter an attempt to shrink borrowing costs for consumers and businesses still suffering in the aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Cramer called the decision part of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s “by any means necessary” approach to tackling the US’s economic problems. While Bernanke can’t boost housing prices or create jobs, he can create the conditions under which businesses, and in turn the markets, can start to rebound.
Bernanke can flood the market with dollars, devaluing the currency and therefore boosting the profits earned by American companies overseas. The resultant success of these firms entices investors back to the market. At the same time, Bernanke makes Treasury’s and certificates of deposit virtually worthless investments by keeping interest rates so low. That, too, makes stocks more attractive.
All of these actions generate the confidence investors need to leave the sidelines and reenter the market. And as share prices climb, it creates a wealth effect that reverberates out to different parts of the economy. Consumers become willing to spend, retailers as a result see their sales totals rise, those growing sales translate into higher earnings, which further catalyzes the market, and so on.
This is outcome that Bernanke is trying to effect, Cramer said, and “he will succeed.”
But for those out there who doubt the Fed chair, Cramer recommended they buy some gold, which was down $23 on Wednesday.
Finally, anyone who’s eyeing the coming General Motors IPO should consider Ford Motor instead. It’s taking share, it carries lower legacy costs, CEO Alan Mulally is delivering results for shareholders, and Cramer thinks Ford is worth twice what GM’s prospectus is putting the soon-to-be-public company at.
“You are going to get a situation where Ford is so cheap versus GM,” Cramer said, “that it can continue to climb. It is breaking out here.”
—Reuters and CNBC.com contributed to this report.
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