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Cramer: $300B in these bonds may need restructuring

There is one story Jim Cramer has heard from everyone's lips these days, and it basically questions how it could be possible that the stock market isn't soaring higher on the news that oil is collapsing.

Instead, the market fell on Tuesday when oil dipped below $30, and it only rallied in the afternoon when oil bounced back and closed down only 3 percent.

"With oil at $30, pretty much straight down for months now from June of 2014, when Brent hit $114, you would think we would be dancing in the streets. I can recall whole bull markets based on the falling cost of fuel," the "Mad Money" host said.

After all, the combination of gas falling below $2 and huge cuts to a heating bill should be fantastic. It is the equivalent of giving every family in America a $1,500 tax cut, except the government doesn't have to pay it back later.

So why the heck is lower oil a negative for the stock market?





Oil fracking California
Getty Images

Whenever something falls dramatically, it sets off warning bells to money managers. While Cramer has emphasized that this is a supply issue, not demand, many managers don't see it that way. They see the price of commodities like copper, aluminum and coal and think it's a lack of demand.

In fact, it seems to Cramer that most of big business in the U.S. isn't even acknowledging the decline as a good thing. With exception of airlines and cruise companies, most other companies are not talking about the great impacts of cheaper oil.

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On the flipside, the pain in the oil patch seems to be front page news for the American oil industry. Looking at the credit market, where the bonds of energy companies are trading, and it shows that at least a third of the entire industry could go under.

"That is a frightening figure. It is possible that, if oil stays down here or goes lower, a huge part of the $300 billion in high-yield bonds that this industry has issued will need restructuring," Cramer said.

Cramer sees the pain of the oil stocks trade each day, too. It is gruesome how they go down in lockstep and shed massive points for every dollar that crude goes down.

The visibility of the decline is so scary that it now colors the entire stock market.

This is how the combination of a once in a lifetime decline in everyone's budget and the budget of millions of corporations does not translate into a stock market rally. It is playing against the appalling losses of the oil companies themselves. It has prompted investors to ignore the positives of the decline and focus only on the negatives, Cramer said.

"We need to respect the fact that something good for the economy, lower oil, can actually be a negative for the stock market, at least short-term, no matter how wrong it might turn out to be over the long-term," Cramer said.

In other words, until oil stabilizes — at any level — do not expect a real relief from the sell-off.

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