In a recent WealthTrack interview with Consuelo Mack, Evercore founder and top-ranked economist Ed Hyman and First Eagle’s Matthew McClennan share insights regarding the current level of global economic growth ten years into the post-financial crisis recovery.
Hyman, U.S. small business optimism is surging, with Germany, Japan and China experiencing significant and accelerating growth. McClennan says, in large part, this is due to unusually stimulative monetary policy, noting that the ECB is not raising rates to reflect global growth. “I think a lot of improvements that occurred in many economies after a decade were because there was deleveraging in them and, often, foreign exchange weaknesses that improved competitiveness in the global markets.” Today, McClennan explains, debt issues are global, not local, and there is not deleveraging. This, he argues, increases risk for investors and is a cause for concern since the market doesn’t seem to be perceiving this risk (as evidenced by low volatility and high valuations).
With regard to bitcoin, Hyman says, “I’ve seen greed for the first time since the tech bubble.” He describes this as a “manifestation of the incredible amount of liquidity in the system” coupled with low interest rates. Hyman says, “I’m assuming that this super-bull will end the way the previous ones did.”
“Investing,” says McClennan, “is all about the identification of asymmetries between price and prospects and, right now, markets do not perceive much in the way of risk.”