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Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Just What the Economy Needed

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Re-opening the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq may have restarted our financial economy today, but the real economy is about to spring to life as well.

Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy may have been just what our ailing economy needed.

Make no mistake, losing one's home, business or worse is a horrible tragedy, said Cramer, but when it comes to the economy, nothing has the potential to get things moving like a widespread disaster.

Cramer said investors need to step back and look at the big picture: Tens of thousands of insurance policyholders are about to begin rebuilding, an event that will require tens of thousands of contractors buying billions of dollars in materials.

Cramer said with the damage from Sandy estimated between $30 billion and $50 billion, it's no wonder stocks like USG (USG) , Whirlpool (WHR) and Sherwin-Williams (SHW) were on the move higher today. In many places in the Northeast there simply won't be enough shovels available to get the work done.

But even bigger than the private sector is the federal government, said Cramer, as roads and other infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. Nothing puts an end to partisan politics and brings politicians together like people in need, as president Obama's visit to New Jersey proved today. Only the government is big enough to get these massive projects underway, Cramer said, and that's precisely what will be happening next.

Good Eaton

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Sandy Cutler, chairman and CEO of Eaton (ETN) , a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS. Shares of Eaton have been trading higher due, in part, to the company's planned acquisition of Cooper Industries (CBE) .

Cutler said Eaton is anxious to help those in the Northeast begin rebuilding and expects many of Eaton's electrical products, from transformers and switches to home circuit breakers and surge protectors, will be a part of that rebuilding effort. Eaton currently derives 60% of its revenue from its electrical businesses.

Cutler also addressed some of the weakness the company saw during the quarter. He said the U.S. economy is downshifting as the fiscal cliff approaches. More and more businesses, he said, are trying to make the decision to buy or wait on their projects, which is why it's important for leaders to address this most important issue.

Turning to the building sector overall, Cutler said that Eaton is still seeing construction activity building. He said what started off as a nonresidential boom in commercial and retail buildings has now spread to residential construction. Cutler said our country is on track to return to 1.5 million housing starts a year, although it ail likely take a few years to get there.