BlackRock CEO Fink: Negative & Low Interest Rates Eat into Consumer Spending at Worst Possible Time

Monday, April 11, 2016
By Paul Martin

by Wolf Richter
WolfStreet.com
April 11, 2016

“A hostile landscape” – that’s what BlackRock CEO Larry Fink called the global investment, economic, and political environment in his gloomy annual letter to his shareholders. It starts out propitiously:

Investors today are facing tremendous uncertainty fueled by slowing economic growth, technological disruption, and social and geopolitical instability.

More specifically:

In China, growth is slowing with global effects.

In the U.S., the quality of corporate earnings is deteriorating, with record share repurchases in 2015 driving valuations – an indication of companies succumbing to the pressures of short-termism in place of constructive, long-term strategies.

And electoral politics muck up the global landscape further:

Polarizing elections in the US and Germany; government transitions in Spain, Taiwan and Canada; allegations of scandal in Brazil, and the UK vote in June on whether to leave the European Union will all continue to drive volatility.

But the impact of low and negative interest rates central banks have imposed on economies around the world is “particularly worrying,” he said. And yet, it’s swept under the rug.

There has been “plenty of discussion” on how low interest rates help trigger asset price inflation, as investors chase yield by loading up on riskier and less liquid asset classes – “with potentially dangerous financial and economic consequences.” But…

The Rest…HERE

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