Submitted by Lance Roberts of Street Talk Live blog,

In Part III of Lance's series of reports from the 10th annual Strategic Investment Conference, presented Altegris Investments and John Mauldin, the question of how to invest during a deleveraging cycle is addressed by A. Gary Shilling, Ph.D. Dr. Shilling is the President of A. Gary Shilling & Co., an investment manager, Forbes and Bloomberg columnist and author - Mr. Shilling's list of credentials is long and impressive. His most recent book "The Age Of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies In A Slow Growth Economy" is a must read. Here are his views on what to watch out for and how to invest in our current economic cycle.

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Six Fundamental Realities

  • Private Sector Deleveraging And Government Policy Responses
  • Rising Protectionism
  • Grand Disconnect Between Markets And Economy
  • Zeal For Yield
  • End Of Export Driven Economies
  • Equities Are Vulnerable

Private Sector Deleveraging And Government Policy Responses

Household deleveraging is far from over. There is most likely at least 5 more years to go. However, it could be longer given the magnitude of the debt bubble. The offset of the household deleveraging has been the leveraging up of the Federal government.

The flip side of household leverage is the personal saving rates. The decline in the savings rate from the 1980’s to 2000 was a major boost to economic growth. That has now changed as savings rate are now slowly increasing and acting as a drag on growth.

However, American’s are not saving voluntarily. American’s have been trained to spend as long as credit is readily available. However, credit is no longer available. Furthermore, there is an implicit mistrust of stocks which is a huge change from the 90’s when stocks were believed to be a source of wealth creation limiting the need to save.

My forecast for GDP growth going forward is that it will remain mired around 2%.

The response to the stalled economic environment and deleveraging cycle has been massive government interventions. The Fed’s original program of zero interest rates have failed to promote borrowing. The next step was unprecedented Quantitative Easing.

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