At this point, it is clear to Jim Cramer that the stock market is inevitably going down. That's just the way it is. But that doesn't mean investors have to sit back and do nothing about it.
"I do find it helpful to figure out what would reverse that ineluctable sense of retreat so if I spotted it…I would know that the overwhelming propensity for a declining session isn't as written in stone as we thought," the "Mad Money" host said.
So, what are the topics on Cramer's radar that could signal a market reversal if they changed? He went down the list.
First, the Fed needs to declare 2015 a rate-hike free zone. They need to do it now, Cramer says, because it has to recognize the strong-dollar perils that America and its trading partners would face if a rate hike happened soon. (Tweet This)
But what really bothers Cramer about the Fed is the dissonance of opinions he hears. Fed presidents and governors are all barking about what actions they should take.
"We need those people to shut up so the Fed can speak with one voice. News flash to the Fed: Your job is bigger and way more important than the NFL, so get some discipline and rein it in, for heaven's sake. Frankly, it's an embarrassment to the institution," Cramer said.
Second, the Chinese market needs to reset. Cramer wants to see a Chinese version of the Nasdaq 2000 crash play out, as the Shanghai Composite index is filled with stocks that are ridiculously overvalued. By his calculations, it has to lose 35 to 40 percent of its value.
Until that happens, Cramer wants investors to be aware that there are plenty of U.S. companies with stocks that are vulnerable to China's decline.
Third, commodities have to bottom, which seems to have no real floor in sight due to opaque demand. But more importantly, the miners have not stopped pumping more of what the world does not need. Glencore, BHP, Vale all have to blink and none of them have. Thus, there is no bottom in sight.
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"Oil? It is no longer about supply and demand. The two have lost their meaning. There is plenty of demand but there is only one country in the world that matters right now, Saudi Arabia, and it's way oversupplying the world in a very uneconomic fashion," Cramer said.
Cramer didn't think that the Saudis would be willing to risk the damage they can do to themselves by continuing to pump oil. He now admitted that he misjudged them.
Oil is not done going down until the Saudis say so. (Tweet This)
It is these three steps that Cramer said must occur in order to have the cloudburst that ends the market gloom. Until then, there could be periodic sunshine, but Cramer doesn't think it will last for very long.