Mad Money

Cramer: The culprit behind 3rd quarter destruction

Cramer: The culprit behind 3rd quarter destruction

With September coming to a close and the third quarter ending, Jim Cramer decided to figure out what was really behind the horrendous market decline.

What if commodities crashed and none of the producers blinked?

That is pretty much what happened this quarter. Many major commodities slumped double digits, with oil's 25 percent decline leading the way. Yet there were almost no supply cuts.

"That supply demand imbalance is at the heart of what went wrong in the third quarter, even as it should have been what went right!" the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet this)

Many investors wanted to focus on the Federal Reserve as the driving force behind stocks, but Cramer disagreed. There is certainly no doubt that the Fed played a major role, but the real culprit behind the destruction was the commodity market.

That supply demand imbalance is at the heart of what went wrong in the third quarter
Jim Cramer
Rodrigo Garrido | Reuters

Or more specifically, the spillover problems of commodity plays into the equity market and the complete lack of common sense shown by almost every major producer.

When Cramer researched the commodity decline, he found that it was the decisions made by these producers during the Great Recession, seven years ago, that came back to haunt them.

The first takeaway from the Great Recession was that the downturn was worse than anyone thought it would be and there were severe ramifications, such as low interest rates to produce slower than expected growth.

The second takeaway was that many thought the United States would be brought down by slow growth forever, while China would continue to rise and pick up the slack. At that moment, many companies decided to de-emphasize the U.S. and focus on China.

Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer

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However, China's demand for commodities has pretty much fallen off of a cliff. But none of the major companies really trimmed production. Resource companies such as Petrobras, Chesapeake and Glencore are all ridiculously strapped. Yet no one has blinked on supply, so the glut continues to exist.

"That, not the Fed is behind much of this last rout and it hasn't ended because there has been little rationality and a lot of hope that China will come back," Cramer said.

This is exactly the reason why Cramer's two largest worries right now are Petrobras and Glencore—the two biggest offenders.

So, as the quarter comes to a close, Cramer reminded investors that the decisions made years ago by commodity production companies to accommodate Chinese demand are the real issue. Not the Fed tightening, which will ultimately only make things tougher.

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