No bull: Jim Cramer says get out of stocks
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, October 7th 2008, 12:41 AM
Squeamish over the free-falling economy, TV's
"Mad Money" guru curbed his bullish passion Monday
and shockingly advised investors to flee the stock market
Jim Cramer, a former hedge fund manager and
CNBC finance star, sparked widespread panic with his stunning
"Today" show appearance just moments before the
Dow tanked again.
"Whatever money you may need for the next five years,
please take it out of the stock market right now!" Cramer,
53, told "Today" host Ann Curry.
"I do not believe that you should risk those assets
in the stock market. I do not care where stocks have been,
I care where they're going, and I don't want people to get
hurt in this market."
An aghast Curry described Cramer's statements as "dramatic,"
considering the theme for his TV show is, "There's always
a bull market somewhere."
Based on an analysis of the Dow from 2000 and 2005, Cramer
is forecasting a 20% stock market crash.
"I've thought about this all weekend. I do not want
to say these things on TV," a grim-faced Cramer said.
Cramer is still sporting egg on his face for recommending
his viewers buy Wachovia stock just days before the bank went
belly up and triggered takeover bids.
In an embarrassing mea culpa, the Harvard magna cum laude
grad admitted to his viewers that he "screwed up"
on the Wachovia pick.
"I let you down, 'cause I wasn't skeptical enough,"
he said, citing his interview last month with friend and Wachovia
CEO Bob Steel, a former U.S. Treasury undersecretary who painted
a rosier picture of his bank.
On "Mad Money" Monday night, Cramer attempted to
water down his "Today" show comment, after getting
bombarded by panicked viewers and Wall Streeters assuming
he's gone gun-shy.
"Let me make it very clear for 'Today' show viewers,
I'm not saying to sell everything," Cramer said. "I
never said that, I never will say it."
He explained that investors worried about unemployment and
a cash crunch due to college tuition or other purchases should
take enough money out of stocks to cover costs for the next
For stock market investors with more flexibility, he recommended
they "ride it out."
"I'm telling you, we are now in a hope-for-the-best-but-prepare-for-the-worst
situation," Cramer said.
"Selling enough to be sure you're not in a cash bind
is not only prudent, it would be foolish not to given these