Cramer: Fed controls the presidential elections

Jim Cramer knows that the U.S. central bank is supposed to be separate from politics. But on the night of the Iowa caucus, where two extremist candidates are poised to do well, he had to acknowledge the connection between these two subjects.

The fact is that the Fedreally matters. Not just in terms of monetary policies and the economy but also in terms of America’s political stability.

“Second, right now, the Fed seems to be doing a pretty terrible job,” the “Mad Money” host said.

If the Fed continues on its slated course of raising interest rates four times this year, Cramer thinks it is very likely that the U.S. will go into a recession.

The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C.

“In a way, the Fed holds this whole Presidential election cycle in its hands.”-Jim Cramer

At a time when China is experiencing a massive growth deceleration and every other major central bank is easing, the Fed is tightening.

Cramer fears that U.S. policymakers are totally out of sync with the rest of the world, and that could have some serious, negative consequences for American companies doing business overseas. The strong dollar could put these companies at a huge disadvantage to foreign competitors.

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While Cramer does believe that Janet Yellen is very smart probably won’t make the mistake of approving another rate hike if the global economy doesn’t improve by March — he is still worried.

Cramer fears that the Fed will flub the statement at its next meeting, in March, and that Yellen won’t decide to hold off on rate hikes. That could give the impression that the Fed is waiting for the right time to slam on the breaks, or maybe that it would consider reversing the last rate hike and go back into quantitative easing mode.

“In a way, the Fed holds this whole presidential election cycle in its hands,” Cramer said. (Tweet This)

Cramer believes that the Fed has the power to create real damage to the economy by continuing to raise rates. If that happens, candidates he views as extremist — like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders — will gain a lot more traction.

Ultimately, political uncertainty hurts the stock market, and Cramer views both Trump and Sanders as running against Wall Street.

“That is why I’m begging Janet Yellen and everyone else on the Federal Open Market Committee, please, stop whistling past the graveyard and take a look at some data points beyond the darned unemployment rate,” Cramer said.

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