Just because we think the situation has improved, that doesn't mean it's necessarily time to buy.
On Monday night, Jim talked about how the government's investment in Citigroup gives us a much better template for dealing with financials than the draconian approach we'd previously taken. We like that the Fed is buying mortgages from Fannie and Freddie, and we really like this asset-backed plan.
By the way, we've gotten a lot of feedback about that segment, where Jim declared that so far, other than the money pit that is AIG, the government hasn't really and truly bailed out anyone. We thought it would be controversial, but that idea actually seems to have simply confirmed what a lot of smart people wanted to say but couldn't because the press insists everything is a bailout.
But back on topic, Tuesday night Jim declared that the Great Depression II scenario is no longer plausible. The fear is totally overblown. But that does not mean that stocks are going to go higher. It doesn't mean you should buy hand over fist. Things have gotten better, but that doesn't mean the market is instantaneously going to improve or that you can all of a sudden buy stocks that we've been calling verboten for months.
Saying there's too much fear and too much loose-lipped negative talk about another depression – hasn't anybody ever told you loose lips sink stocks? – is in no way saying we're in for a recovery. Being less negative doesn't mean you have to become positive.
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 Richand 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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