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Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Upside and Downside Risks

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "You're welcome to be optimistic," Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Monday on the eve of a government shutdown, but just understand the downside risks outweigh the upside ones, at least for now.

Cramer said it's clear by the lack of a major selloff on Wall Street today that many investors are hanging their hopes on a last-minute secret deal being made by Congress to avoid the shutdown. But in reality, he said that it's unrealistic to think that Congress can agree on both the budget and the debt ceiling all in one fell swoop. Some in Washington are prepared to see the U.S. default on its debt just to make a point, he continued, and views like that are not where compromises come from.

That's why the Federal Reserve's actions last week were the right ones because the central bank has set the stage to have high-yielding dividend stocks return to the limelight as everything from gold, to real estate, to bond have become less attractive.

What's important to remember now is that unlike the last rounds of Congressional showdowns, this time both Europe and China are on the mend, creating a backdrop of hope against the stagnant U.S., Cramer said. This will help stocks rally, eventually. But for now he continues to raise cash so he can buy in at better levels once a budget resolution is finally achieved.

In the meantime, Cramer said international stocks and those with high yields, including AT&T and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners , will be perhaps the only stocks worth buying at current levels.

Executive Decision: Spencer Rascoff

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow , the red-hot real estate IPO from two years ago that disappointed Wall Street with a 30-cents-a-share loss when it last reported, turning its stock into a battleground between the bulls and the bears.

Rascoff said the big misconception about Zillow is the company is actually a media company selling advertising, and thus isn't directly affected by the health of the housing market. He said Zillow's total addressable market is huge, and his company is only just getting started.