Byron Wien on Potential Upsets to Economy

In a recent article for Barron’s, Blackstone Advisory Partners vice chairman Byron Wien shares his insights regarding factors that could potentially upset the economy.

Giving an overview of the global economic and political climate, Wien highlights the general rise in populism and shares his view on the Trump presidency, Brexit vote, EU, and the economic factors affecting several European countries including France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Regarding the financial markets, Wien writes that “abundance of liquidity” and China’s 10% nominal growth have significantly and positively impacted the financial markets over the past decade.

Wien offers a list of indicators that could lead to disruption, including:

  • The narrow U.S. yield curve.
  • Leading Economic Indicator Index—”This index always loses momentum a year or two before a recession is upon us.”
  • Investor sentiment—”Individuals investors have not yet embraced the market with enthusiasm. That usually happens before the end.”
  • The Fed—while it is positioned to raise rates, says Wien, it has not been aggressive in doing so.
  • An “exogenous” event, such as military conflict—”The market is assuming none of that will happen, and if the market is right, we have at least one to two years to go before we get into serious trouble.”