Cramer: Sell the Banks

Despite massive declines, the banks are not a bargain, Cramer said Monday.

First, the banks are “smack in the middle of the European contagion,” he said. “If they simply came clean and told us their true exposure to Europe … then we could actually make some judgments about whether or not they’re cheap.”

Second, the banks are in the crosshairs of the government, which wanted to eliminate financial institutions that were too big too fail but ended up blessing the highest concentration of banking business ever, Cramer said. He thinks the government will chip away at these franchises for years to come.

Third, the domestically oriented banks are the worst acting in the book. For most banks, mortgage production is declining, there are no real buybacks, dividends remain at risk, and the net interest they are making on deposits is going down, he said.

“Sidestepping this toxic group has helped immensely to boost your performance this year and I think it will continue to do so,” Cramer said, “Sell the banks."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? madcap@cnbc.com