In an interview with Bloomberg, bond market veteran Mohamed El-Erian advises investors to cut equities and “take some money off the table” over the next 12 months, adding that he believes the market has yet to factor in what could happen to the economy this year.
In an opinion piece for Bloomberg before the interview, El-Erian writes that the Fed is in a tough spot after allowing inflation to accelerate almost unchecked in the U.S. to its highest point since the 1980s, and now has the unfortunate decision of whether it meets its inflation target and causes a recession, or it allows the inflation to soar well into next year. However, he maintained in the interview that stocks have stayed resilient, going up after the Fed raised lending rates for the first time in 4 years.
As asset allocators look to reduce equity, they may actually wind up increasing them, El-Erian says, since cash is a no-go with inflation at 7.9% and bonds are still adjusting and therefore unsafe. But the relative value of stocks may not be stable as the equity market hasn’t really priced in the risk of a period of global stagflation, with lower growth and higher inflation, which El-Erian predicts we will see.
That prediction, the article reminds us, came way back in last July, when El-Erian maintained that inflation would not be as transitory as the Fed believed at the time.