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With Financials, Damage Control is Key

At this point, I can't even count the number of stories we've done about the rot in the financials, the possibility that a large bank or two might fail and the need for the Federal Government to take action. Jim has been beating the drum on this issue for eons, longer than anybody else on the public stage I can think of and he has been consistently right where the graybeards, like Ben Bernanke, have either been wrong--as he was when he spent the bulk of 2007 worrying about inflation--or done too little too late, as when he finally started cutting rates aggressively, but not soon enough to forestall the current crisis.

I say all this not to suck up to my boss, but because Jim's discussion of the financials on last night's show was not the same old song he's been singing since the famous "They know nothing rant!" on Stop Trading!. We weren't talking about the Feds taking action to stop banks from failing. We were talking about the Feds taking preemptive action to make sure that when a large bank potentially starts to go under, and as you heard last night Jim seems to think the probability of this is pretty high-- maybe it'll be Wachovia , or Washington Mutual , or Bank of America choking on its acquisition of Countrywide, or even Citigroup , there will be a buyer ready to merge with it and stop a wholesale bank failure, like the Fed orchestrated JP Morgan takeover of the drowning Bear Stearns.

In other words, we're no longer talking about prevention here, we're talking about damage control. Now I'm sure this change in tone happened before yesterday, but it's something I just picked up on and thought was worth bringing to your attention.


Cliff Mason is the Senior Writer of CNBC's Mad Money w/Jim Cramer, and has been that program's primary writer, in cooperation with and under the supervision of Jim Cramer, since he began at CNBC as an intern during the summer of 2005. Mason was the author of a column at TheStreet.com during 2007, which he describes as "hilarious, if short-lived." He graduated from Harvard College in 2007. It was at Harvard that Mason learned to multi-task, mastering the art of seeming to pay attention to professors while writing scripts for Mad Money. Mason has co-written two books with Jim Cramer: Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich and Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer). He is 100% responsible for any parts of either book that you did not like.

Mason has also had a fruitful relationship with Jim Cramer as his nephew for the last 23 years and will hopefully continue to hold that position for many more as long as he doesn't do anything to get himself kicked out of the family.




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