After a much stronger-than-expected nonfarm jobs number was reported Friday, CNBC's Jim Cramer celebrated the actions of Ben Bernanke over the past several years and said that the Federal Reserve chairman "saved the world" from economic catastrophe.
"I think the market has great faith in Bernanke, more than the pundits," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" Friday. "I think the market says that they think they can figure out what to do in the interim in Washington. We've got tremendous pent-up demand."
In the early days of the crisis, Cramer was a vocal critic of the Federal Reserve and Bernanke for not taking action and underestimating the problems of the U.S. banking system, which inspired his 2007 "they know nothing" rant on CNBC.
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"He made fun of me in the Fed minutes, but then he got religion," Cramer said Friday. "People can change. I think Bernanke changed, I want to have faith in Bernanke. I refuse to think he is a buffoon. I think he is going to get us out of this jam and I like being the minority in that."
"Many people have refinanced, we see companies issue debt all the time. There are a lot of people who have accomplished what they should," Cramer said, noting that the people who will get hurt by rising rates are the those who bought into long duration bond funds.
When talking of an eventual hike in interest rates, Cramer asked, "Why can't we call it a high-quality problem? Why do we always identify it as an Armageddon problem? If the Fed has to stop [keeping interest rates low], it's a high-quality problem because the economy would be off life support. Would that be so bad?"
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Cramer thinks the economy "will continue to improve," and will be supported by several key major sectors in the U.S. that were beaten down during the recession.
"I think that housing is incredibly important and the bottom in housing is underestimated by everybody," he said, adding that when consumers realize that the price of their home is no longer going down, they will feel good about spending again.
"Automobiles are incredibly strong, with spending at the store and housing — that is the U.S. economy. That's what we do. It's good," Cramer said.
Cramer predicts that, without creating a bubble, the U.S. economy can get to 1.6 million homes built and 17 million cars built.
"One of the things that must be very frustrating for the people in Washington is to recognize that when they get off the front page, we start hiring," he said. "I wonder whether it makes the president and Congress say, 'Look what we can do if we stop fighting,' because [Friday's jobs report] is truly an impressive number."