Dazed, confused by budget talks, market swings

We come into this session bewildered by fiscal cliff negotiations and betting the market is set up to fall.

By Jim Cramer Nov 30, 2012 9:54AM

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Image Source Black GettyCould it be that the U.S. economy is so smoking hot that we don't need to worry about higher taxes for all? Maybe the defense budget doesn't matter as much because everyone sees the profligate nature of the Pentagon, with its ridiculously expensive fighter planes. Maybe the employment benefits don't mean much because people are working off the books anyway. Maybe, with all the little charities and state programs out there that can make up for the federal dollars, we are wrong to be so fretful. Maybe it's all made up by the media -- and, if we didn't know any better, we'd see the changes as mild and realize the whole thing is overblown.

 

Look, if you are not wondering about these sorts of things, I think you must be brain-dead. Thursday's half-decent rally, coming in the face of horrendous retail numbers and a lack of progress in the talks, makes us feel that the whole thing doesn't matter. Either that or, after the debt downgrade, the public has just become conditioned to believe the consequences aren't meaningful, or that they will be avoided. Or, at least, they've been made to feel it has nothing to do with the stock market -- no more than how much the now-evident China expansion has to do with the Chinese stock market.

Think about it. In the span of a day, we started by thinking there was definite progress, and then went to thinking there was no progress. Then, by the end of the day we came to this realization: Not only was there no progress, but things have grown worse -- maybe much worse -- with a proposal from the Democrats that basically says, "Taxes are going up and benefits aren't being cut." I mean, Thursday was a day when everyone actually seemed to throw in the towel. President Obama's game plan was very old-fashioned tax-and-spend, and the market lapped it up.

 

So we come in here Friday, dazed, confused and betting that the market is set up for a fall.

 

Yet it's very rare that we see a tape that allows you can get off a short like you can here. Perhaps the buyers are propping stocks up; it is the end of the month. Or perhaps they mistakenly believe, now, that the sides have grown farther apart -- that a deal is in the works for the weekend.

 

I'll say it. It makes no sense to me.

 

Period.

 

JimCramers face 

 

Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust.

 

 

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153Comments
Nov 30, 2012 10:53AM
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the USA environment has evolved a way (or away) where the accounting people do not WANT to have jobs in USA. 

 

we set up laws for USA for clean air, 40 hour work week, etc, etc; then OPEN THE BORDERS to so called free trade with countries not having the slightest set of laws to match ours.  we therefore cannot compete with India-China-Vietnam, etc. 

 

we can not compete against slave labor nations. 

 

we NEED to have import tariffs to compensate for the disparity of laws between USA and the world.  if a country has similar laws, they pay zero imports.  if they have widely conflicting laws (or no laws) such as 8 year olds working, flushing chemicals into local rivers, etc, then they should have MAXIMUM tariffs imposed on imports. 

 

if we want to lead the world and truly believe in the laws we imposed on ourselves, then we should with our consumer magnitude impose these laws around the world.  ideally this would "lift" these third world countries out of their 3rd world poison. 

 

the discussion at the congressional level about the topic of tariffs and FAIR trade needs to happen. 

 

we could set up a tariff system on basic scheme.  

 

no child labor laws?  1%

no 40 hour work week?  1%

no overtime?  1%

no OSHA style system?  1%

no EPA-Air Quality system?  1%

etc. 

 

you can see a check list of salient topics can hit say 5% fast.  make a complete list to reflect the issues we added that make ourselves non competitive and we might see work initially come back to usa. 

 

IF the cheap countries slowly complete the check list, then assuming they are THEN competitive, they can get the job. 

 

what could readily happen is they (China, India, Vietnam) would simply ignore us and sell to themselves.  China very much has enough population to simply grow among themselves.  Fine.  screw your people and pollute your land.!  we'll gain their tourism dollars when people want some clean air!

Nov 30, 2012 12:04PM
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The idea of the fiscal cliff is OK.  We don't need to raise taxes on the 5% that already pay 65% of the taxes.   We need to raise taxes on the deadbeat 47% that currently pay ZERO and leech off the rest of us.

Going over the cliff will at least force these deadbeats to help pay for the massive spending under Obama.  We need to end the entitlement state or make EVERYONE pay for it.  

In 2008 spending was 2.95 trillion, today it is 3.8 trillion a 28% increase.  Revenue has gone from 2.4 trillion to 2.5 trillion.  We need to SLASH SPENDING, not increase revenue.

Every dollar that the government seizes from the private sector means less jobs, less growth and fewer opportunities.   This is why with 860 billion in stimulus spending, unemployment jumped from 7.2% to 10%+...  More government spending will cause more unemployment and less economic  growth.


Nov 30, 2012 11:43AM
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"Set up for a fall." Of course it is !!! There's nothing holding it up !All these  "HOPES" rallies or pure BS ! For the past 6 months,maybe more,the rallies only come when somebody SAYS something that WS likes.When nobody's talking,the REALITY hits and the market falls.The economy isn't rebounding,wages aren't going up and people are still living on credit cards,plants are closing,retailers are closing and jobs are not coming.So,set for a fall,only when the BS stops and some real plans and real work goes into fixing the problems will it not be "set for a fall".
Nov 30, 2012 10:56AM
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More than likely they will just renew what we have now.Heaven forbid the Congress would miss

their well deserved Christmas vacation.

Nov 30, 2012 12:15PM
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No problem----the administration is doing the same thing it did the last 4 years,create uncertanty and confusion.

Wait till balama care unfolds. More taxes,more turmoil.Good job America!

Nov 30, 2012 11:10AM
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I dont know about the rediculousy expensive fighter planes, we obviously dont need them to fend off  any current foe,  or in the near future foe,  it is the hyperoverruns on big ships that bother my tax paying mind more, how could a not wanted ship built in Pascagoola, Missippi go from its projected cost of 300 million to 700 million in final cost due to overruns, and no one bat an eye.  If I did that in my bids for house framing, Id be laughed out of the market in a season.  Didnt an Avocet missle take out a British battleship from 42 miles away in the Falklands war.Aand it cost only $650K to do that ship in.    If we are putting money in military, put it in protecting our best asset, the soldier who didnt have sufficient armor to go into Iraq or the hospitals that were falling apart when they should have been ultramodern and ready to do the job.   As for fiscal cliffs, it is coming and may do some good in triming the fat out of a lot of tax sucking black holes, but Id still like to see a deal made just so I can feel I am getting something for the taxes that go to pay Congressmen who seem to have a one word two letter vocabulary, NO.
Nov 30, 2012 11:58AM
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" Maybe it's all made up by the media"

 

It has been a while since I liked anything you said BoBo but this is pretty good.

Nov 30, 2012 12:44PM
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It's political brinksmanship Jimmy.  Obama knows the cliff is a worse case scenario that he can blame on the GOP, so he's asking for something slightly less painful and waiting for the GOP to crack.  Don't be confused.  It's the art of the deal.  That, and Wal Street clearly lives in a fantasy land of self-delusion.
Nov 30, 2012 12:31PM
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I think mainly for the positive psychological effect, government, business, and the press, have trumpeted for years that the recession miraculously ended in about 2009. But I believe in common sense and the truth, and that an economy that’s not in recession can stand on its own merit without stimulus, etc. This has prompted me to formulate “Al’s first law of recession economics.” It states, anytime a government must create phony growth through deficit spending in order to “pull its economy out of recession” then its economy is still in recession.

Nov 30, 2012 12:06PM
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The Fed wants inflation, which means bull market and inflation in 2013. More printing coming.
Nov 30, 2012 1:26PM
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Just had a picture cross my mind........ John Q. Public standing by a cliff. A republican pushing him from the front and Obama down on hands and knees behind him for the trip over. Obama saying "Don't you push him"...... "Don't you do it"....... Republican saying "Don't you trip him"...... "Don't you do it"
Nov 30, 2012 12:11PM
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On Fiscal cliff, Congress should do nothing, Taxes going up is not a big deal. May be we will spend less, may be eat less, may be less drunk on road that will save lives and hospital time. That is not so bad for over shopped, over fed, over drunk Americans.

 

Obama is party guy. He is not an innovator. He is not hard worker. He wants people to feel good because he can teach us to hate successful and driver of economy. I do not want to be racist but black dudes always have been good at manipulation. That is how they make girl pregnant and then live off her welfare check or if that don't pan out just walk always and try it again somewhere else.

 

Why not those who failed suffer little beat more? Why not some live off peanut butter sandwiches? Even Mother Theresa said that our obligation to poor to give them enough so if they decides to do so, struggle to get themselves in a better situation and not just give them better situation. If you gave  me fancy dinner pass at better restaurant every day, nice place to live, take car of my needs, I will just enjoy free bee and won't bother to work. May be I will die of heart attack or may survive that and can get free medical care.

 

Are we too rich for our own good?

Nov 30, 2012 12:36PM
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The events are happening very nearly as they have been planned and expected.  The New World Order transition continues unabated and the ego maniacs in D.C. continue their sideshow, or front show if they can keep the drama going.  We need to clearly understand what is happening is spelled MONEY and POWER over the entire world.  Yet throughout this economic transition the average American is not heard from, seen, or for that matter of any concern or part of the process.  Remember folks to continue the compression of this economy and decline of the American manufacturing wage will involve some risk for political and social upheaval but with the media clearly on board and willing to participate in the charade only one more element needs to be maintained.  The maintaining of the wealth class very nearly until the end is a required and given. So trade as you may and throw concern into the wind for you, the other guy, and me will have little to no input to this colossal facade we are seeing called the Fiscal Cliff. .  All Washingon is doing at this point is attempting to ascribe blame to the least politically adept at understanding the process and defending themselves. The concern for the intended destruction of American values including monetary responsibility  we have become accustomed to will fade and the New light of day will see the Sun Shine on China and we Americans with our starry innocent eyes will become a fading memory. JMHO

Nov 30, 2012 11:42AM
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Military spending is for the most part a jobs program and a massive subsidy for the Oil industry ......we would not need a ME presence if we were not dependent on oil .....we could operate with a much smaller more versatile military if we were not so often tricked into fighting wars for non US interests.

As usual though angry, greedy old men get to send brave young men and women to war to further their own interests.

Sadly it will probably never change ....at least until education is free and available to all.
Nov 30, 2012 12:48PM
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My take is that the Pols on both sides of the fence are giving us just enough hope that a solution will be reached so that they have enough time to bail out of any long positions they are holding and getting short on just about everything before they pull the rug out from under everybody.

 

All of the supposed talks are just the ultimate insider deal before we all get totally screwed by the ultimate market manipulators-THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Nov 30, 2012 11:44AM
Nov 30, 2012 1:11PM
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I see some or someone stating the Administration...Is doing the same as they did the last 4 years...

 

I'm not letting any of these s-o-b's off the hook, what the hell is the matter with you...?

Congress HOLDS THE PURSE, and the PURSE STRINGS....

 

There are dozens if not hundreds of  House and Senate bills and Administrative proposals sitting piled on desks of the various Leaders, that can't make it through Committee or brought to the floors.

You must wake-up and smell the coffee or tea, or get off the weed you are using...

THEY ARE DOING NOTHING, EXCEPT POINTING FINGERS....

Nov 30, 2012 12:52PM
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We need to find a way to bring the jobs back to America. After the huge amount of unsafe products coming from overseas markets (from dry wall, to baby formula, to dog food), could we pass a STRONG law that denies a company its right to sell its products in our markets if: They do not follow our EPA rules and regulations, follow our OSHA safety rules, follow our child labor laws, food inspection and regulation, and all the other regulations companies in America have to follow. Doesn’t matter where the factory is in the world, it wouldn’t be a tariff. For the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens, you will not be allowed to sell in America. We wouldn’t be telling other governments how to run their manufacturing sector. If they want to let companies manufacture crappy and dangerous things fine, sell them in China, let the Chinese government protect its citizens. If the company doesn’t follow our rules (not the government of the country the company is in) you will not be allowed access to the American markets. It might not be so profitable to take a company overseas to take advantage of a corrupt or weak government just to escape our manufacturing laws to, sicken, injure, pollute, work children, and kill the local populace for pennies a day just to make more money. (Bhopal India disaster, Bangladesh textile fire). This might offset the shipping costs to get their products to America and make it cheaper to manufacture here again.  We would also be doing the world a great service.

Nov 30, 2012 12:20PM
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Washington knows deflation would bring down the Real Estate market and Financial markets,  I have my money on inflation.  Sorry bears, it is what it is.
Nov 30, 2012 12:15PM
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Jim, love ya man, but to think these Elitist career politician have a clue as to what is really at stake here, IMO, is a error in judgement.  This One Up Manship and dissing the other party to make their position in Congress safe, regardless of what happens to the American People is their only concern.  I don't have any strategies in place to ride out this storm (unless you can think of one), but remain invested in time tested blue chips ( T, KMB, PEG, DIS, etc).  I hope I don't turn into another victim of mass stupidity on the Hill on both sides of the aisle.  Don K
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