Jim Cramer today angrily called on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to lower interest rates, saying he "has no idea how bad it is out there" in the nation's credit markets.
In his "Stop Trading" segment on Street Signs Friday, Cramer said the nation's central bank is "asleep" and should immediately "relieve the pressure" on financial firms and the nation's home owners who are facing big increases in their mortgage payments as 'teaser' rates expire. Many thousands will "lose their homes," he warned. "This is not the time to be complacent."
About an hour later, he made a return appearance on CNBC's Closing Bell to soften his initial comments, making it clear that he is not recommending investors sell stocks. He predicted a big rebound for the major stock market averages if the Fed does indeed lower rates, and said he was upset by Bear Stearn's "complaining" during a conference call earlier in the afternoon. "I don't want to scare anybody," he added. "The Fed can make this whole problem go away" by lowering interest rates.
Standard & Poor's changed its rating outlook on the firm to negative from stable this morning.