Cramer calls the stock market's nearly 1,600-point plunge a 'flash crash' — it just 'broke again'

  • The market couldn't handle the current volume of trading, Cramer says, which is why it dipped nearly 1,600 points.
  • 'The market got phony again,' he says.

CNBC's Jim Cramer described the Dow Jones industrial average's nearly 1,600 point plunge on Monday as a "flash crash" of sorts.

"The markets showed the same lack of class and power and honesty and truth that we have seen in every kind of these flash crashes," Cramer said on "Closing Bell."

The market went up very rapidly since the new year and then sank down even quicker, he said.

Monday afternoon the Dow was in free fall, hitting a bottom of down nearly 1,600 points at one stage before minutes later cutting those losses in half.

The Dow whipsawed and closed about 1,175 points lower. The index was at a record high on Jan. 26.

"The market got phony again," said Cramer, host of "Mad Money." "It's a shame. It can't handle the volume and it can't handle this level of selling."

Cramer said there are opportunities to buy when the market breaks. "And the market just broke again," he said. "We haven't seen it break in a long time."

The market doesn't work well at certain points, Cramer said, like when the volume of trading is too high.

"It's OK," he said. "It happens periodically and it freaks people out at home. We can spin any tale we want, but what I am saying is that the market doesn't work at certain points."

Despite the urgency, Cramer said the last thing an investor should do is "freak out."

"I see idiots coming in and selling and I see it's too fast to buy," he said. "Just remember the flash crash a few years ago, another flash crash a few years ago. When the market can't handle this kind of trading you get this."

"But don't freak out. Look for something you like to buy," he said.

— Join Cramer live at 6 p.m. ET tonight for "Mad Money" as he recaps Monday's meltdown and where there may be opportunities to buy.