Don't kick out Sheila Bair! She knows the numbers. This morning, Bloomberg's reporting that Tim Geithner doesn't want Bair at the FDIC anymore because she is not a team player.
To which I say, "Thank heavens!" -- the team was terrible! These reports make her sound like Terrell Owens in the locker room -- a great player who is cancerous when going gets tough -- when it is actually the opposite: She is the franchise player to build around. When Indymac was seized (something I wish she had done earlier, but she waited as long as she could), she and her organization became the laboratory, the great central testing zone for what will work and what won't work to stem foreclosures, the root cause of all of our financial problems.
She was ignored, systematically ignored, even though she had the knowledge base. Both Geithner's organization and Treasury always thought the situation was either under control or could be controlled by top-down thinking: Give Wells (NYSE: WFC) (Cramer's Take) and Citi (NYSE: C) (Cramer's Take) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) (Cramer's Take) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) (Cramer's Take) some money, they will lend, it will trickle down.
Instead, it was always a ratio, a complicated ratio of plans that would allow more people to stay in their homes than not to tip the balance against house price depreciation. As the only person who had come close to working out the ratio, Bair became incredibly valuable. As someone who knew that the orthodoxy of Paulson/Bernanke/Geithner was failing, she pushed for another view.
Basically she stood up to a complacent team that kept getting it wrong -- until now, when it is tinkering with mortgage rates. She also got fed the bill of goods that TARP was going to buy bad loans, which would have made her job so easy. She got had.
My biggest beef with Geithner is that he has always been the ultimate behind-the-scenes team player of a team that has been late, behind and wrong. Bair is independent and honest and forthright and a breath of fresh air with real answers to help real Americans.
President Obama had better interject himself in this one. If we lose Bair, we lose a person of great character and vision who has made some mistakes but has mostly gotten it right while the team has gotten it wrong. She's a franchise player. She must be begged to stay at the FDIC.
Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.