Cramer Praises Bernanke, Defends QE3
Ben Bernanke did it again.
The Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve announced plans for another aggressive stimulus program on Thursday, saying the central bank will buy $40 billion of mortgage-backed debt per month until the U.S. job market improves substantially.
(Related: Read The Federal Reserve Statement Here.)
In the wake of the Fed's announcement, stocks finished at multi-year highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 206.51 points, or 1.55 percent, to close at 13,539.86, with all 30 components posting gains. The S&P 500 rallied 23.43 points, or 1.63 percent, to end at 1,459.99, logging its best close since December 2007. The Nasdaq jumped 41.52 points, or 1.33 percent, to finish at 3,155.83.
While Bernanke can't impact China's economy or solve Europe's ongoing debt crisis, Cramer argued the Fed chief can impact the U.S. housing supply — a critical part of the economy.
"Bernanke can impact supply — the supple of homes that is — and he can do that be ensuring that mortgage rates stay low, hence the mortgage bond buying program," Cramer said. "And he can make bankers feel more confident making home loans, which, believe me, is something they’re still skittish about doing right now."
(Vote Now: Did the Fed Get It Right?)
Reducing the housing supply is important for two reasons, Cramer said. First, fewer homes increases the value of all homes on the market, he said. Second, the fewer homes on the market, the greater the demand for new home construction — a major source of employment.
Some critics complain the Fed's bond buying program isn't working, but Cramer said that argument is premature.
"We’re only just now working off that massive housing inventory, which is why the stocks of the homebuilders are roaring," Cramer said. "We are just now seeing an increase in housing prices, which then creates a better mindset — a wealthier mindset — for the two-thirds of Americans who own homes."
When home values increase, Cramer said most homeowners "feel richer," leading to increased spending. In turn, retailers like Macy'sand Pier 1 Imports or Lowe'sbenefit from the increased sales.
In the end, Bernanke's plan may take time, but Cramer thinks it will help spark economic growth eventually. In the meantime, investors can benefit from higher share prices almost across the board.
Read on for Cramer's Top Dividend Stocks 2012
—Reuters contributed to this report
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