There's no denying that "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer is entertaining, popular, and passionate. On many occasions, he's even right. For example, in August 2007, in an ardent, emotional rant forever memorialized on YouTube, he said that the Fed was asleep, and that the market was facing "Armageddon." The subsequent meltdown has proved him more than correct.

So he's smart, funny, almost a stock market rock star -- but is he smarter than you?

The Fool's free investing community, Motley Fool CAPS, aggregates the opinion of more than 120,000 members to assign ratings for each stock's likelihood of outperforming or underperforming the market. For the first 20 months since we began tracking the CAPS community's collective intelligence in late 2006, the data shows that newly minted five-star stocks offer the best opportunities for investors, while the lowest-rated companies fared the worst.

Cramming for Cramer
Below, we look at some top stocks that Cramer picked and panned during last week's "lightning rounds," and compare them to how the CAPS community sees their future:

Stock

Lightning Round Show

Cramer's Rating

CAPS Rating

Visa (NYSE:V)

Monday

Bearish

****

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX)

Monday

Bullish

*****

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE:WFR)

Monday

Bearish

****

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)

Tuesday

Bullish

***

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)

Tuesday

Bullish

***

Citigroup (NYSE:C)

Tuesday

Bearish

**

Allied Capital

Wednesday

Bearish

**

State Street

Thursday

Bullish

*

Merck

Friday

Bullish

****

Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEG)

Friday

Bearish

*****

Cramer says ...
The credit industry seems to have a one-two punch headed its way. Even as people cut back on the spending, crimping the transaction revenue credit card companies realize from every plastic purchase, consumers' ability to repay debt is seemingly dwindling. Together, those factors could boost default rates to crisis proportions. Perhaps that explains Cramer's suggestion that investors shun anything having to do with consumer spending, and avoid Visa, Mastercard, and American Express:

No, no, no...  We cannot be involved in anything that is consumer spend related... The consumer has completely and utterly disappeared as a force, and I don't think anything, whether it be Mastercard or [Visa] is going to be... or American Express I mean, [it] reported that so-called "upside surprise." It's at $23. It's now lower. Anything consumer-related, I just can't get behind.

CAPS says ...
When it comes to Visa, Jim Cramer and the CAPS community seem diametrically opposed. More than 87% of the All-Star members of our investor intelligence community think the credit card issuer will outperform the market. In fact, this stock has been highly rated since it went public earlier this year.

Still, many members understand that the immediate future may be difficult, considering the economy. But as CAPS member Guardian21 notes, it's an opportunity to buy an industry leader on the cheap:

Visa will profit from the long term trend of increasing consumer use of credit and debit cards. It is the dominant competitor in its industry. Along with Mastercard, its business model contains less risk than some of its other competitors since it does not lend. Stong balance sheet, with over 5 billion in cash and about 100 million in debt. Recent pullback provides opportunity to accumulate shares.

Cramer and CAPS managed to agree on several companies, however, like Freeport-McMoRan. The Mad Money star likes it, but was a bit cautious about because we're in a "deflationary spiral." That guarded optimism seems to meld well with the views of CAPS member KnockoutMouse, who considers Freeport a longer-term play:

Company just disappointed on earnings so its a good value play if you are long-term bullish on copper. Copper is probably near the bottom now at $1.80 (I HOPE!), so its a good time to buy one of the biggest producers. They put out gold and moly too!

The stock may be flat for a while (well into 2009) but hey, they are paying a 7.5% dividend right now, which should make the wait sweeter. Look for copper to take off when the gloom passes.

Your say
While CAPS members may stand with Jim Cramer, or on opposite sides of the fence, our investing community is more than the opinions of a select group of All-Stars, even if they are TV personalities. What do you think? Is Cramer right, or off his rocker? Click over to CAPS now, and share your thoughts on Visa or Freeport.

Motley Fool CAPS is a great place to start your own research on these stocks. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made -- all from a stock's CAPS page. Best of all, it's free!

Bank of America is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. American Express is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Merck, but he does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.