Insana Defends His Call

Ron Insana recently announced he’s dumping his portfolio’s defensive stocks for more aggressive names, much to the surprise of Cramer. Despite Wall Street’s overwhelmingly bearish sentiment these days, Insana sees signs of hope, and he told Mad Money on Friday that he no longer fears a crash. Why?

“It’s already happened,” he said.

While many investors fear a second recessionary decline in the markets and the economy, Insana believes we’ve reached secular bottoms in a number of key industries, namely the banks, homebuilders and insurers. These stocks were taken to levels in March “that were just unbelievably low,” he said, and they seemed to forecast “utter collapse and chaos.” But the longtime CNBC contributor and former hedge-fund manager doesn’t think that will happen. In fact, we’ve been there and done that.

Now, Insana doesn’t think we’re in the clear. Among Hovnanian Enterprises , Lennar and Toll Brothers , only Toll is expected to earn any money before the fourth quarter of 2010. But these homebuilders are buying back at cheaper prices the land they had cleared from their balance sheets months ago, he said, and we should see more consolidation in the sector, much like Pulte Homes’ acquisition of Centex.

Insana’s switch into the homebuilders and banks – Citigroup, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are just a few of his favorites – isn’t a trading strategy, he said. This is no short-term play. He’s investing for the next two years or so. As rough as the markets are right now, he does believe that we’ll pull through. So he’s buying now in order to get “bargain basement prices for brand-name assets” in two important areas of the economy “that I think you have to own.”

“If these banks are not going out of business, if they’re not being nationalized,” Insana said, “I think you have to own them.”

What does Cramer have to say? He responded in detail during Thursday’s Mad Money. Read about it here. And watch the video for more of Insana’s stock picks.

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