Cramer: Con Ed Is the New Treasury
The safest of all pieces of paper are Treasury bonds because they are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, which is why they are called risk-free securities.
But right now we are seeing a bizarre moment that has stood the difference between a stock and a bond on its head.
Right now bonds, particularly Treasury bonds, may be risk free as far as being backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government,. But that income stream that they have to pay you has never been lower. In history. Even as our finances as a nation have, arguably, never been worse, except for perhaps during the Civil War. So, we have this bizarre anomaly where a paper that is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the nation can't be considered as risk free as it was. So, you are being paid the least amount of money ever for a security that is the riskiest it has ever been.
Now consider Con Edison(ED) . Here's a company with one of the greatest dividend records in history. It is a company that has a fabulous balance sheet, arguably much better than that of the United States, and it is backed up by the full faith and credit of people who don't want their lights turned off. Those are some motivated people, especially in an era where almost everything we own of any value needs to get charged.
If you own Con Edison's stock it gives you a revenue stream that is more than two-and-a-half times that of a 10-year Treasury and, unlike Treasuries, you can expect that revenue stream to be increased, not kept at the same level. Most importantly, Con Edison actually has some upside because it provides power to one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States and it also can supplant expensive oil provided by others with cheaper natural gas. And yes, it provides no power to Europe where the lights are actually about to go dark in at least one country: Greece. I kid you not. The power companies can't pay their bills because the people aren't paying theirs.
Now, I ask you which is safer, Con Ed, or Treasuries? Which has more value? Which is better for you?