Stop Trading!: How Goldman Sachs Could Rule Wall Street

The bonus-tax bill passed by Congress on Thursday puts companies unable to repay bailout money at an extreme disadvantage, Cramer said during Stop Trading!. Those who could clear their debts with Washington, however, might dominate their industry.

Right now, Goldman Sachs looks to be the only financial firm in position to pay back the Troubled Asset Relief Program money it borrowed from the government. That would exempt Goldman from the new law, which puts a 90% tax on all bonuses for executives making more than $250,000, whose companies received at least $5 billion in TARP aid. Cramer thinks the ability to pay Wall Street’s top talent virtually any salary, enticing them away from Goldman’s ailing competitors, would make the company unbeatable.

“You can pick every great mind from every firm that took TARP money,” Cramer said.

This scenario could then be used as a selling point to market the equity offering Goldman would need to hold to pay back its TARP debts. Cramer thought the “story would resonate, and people would snap the deal up.”

Such a move would make Goldman “the repository of every single great investment banking client there is,” Cramer said, which would translate into better-than-expected profits come this time next year.

Cramer emphasized that this scenario is one reason Congress never should have passed the bonus-tax bill. It would be a "nightmare" for TARP participants, as it puts them at a huge competitive disadvantage.

Elsewhere in the market, Cramer said he liked Monro Muffler Brake as a recession play. The autos-services company should see increased business as consumers save pennies anywhere they can, such as extending the life of the car they own now rather than buying a new one.

Monro has lagged its peers in share price but not earnings, Cramer said. He called the company’s latest quarter “beautiful,” and said he liked Monro better than AutoZone . But he warned against buying MNRO right now. The stock is up, he said. So wait for it to pull back.

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