Marc Faber, publisher of ` The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report
Feb 10, 2017 | Source: Economic Times
Assessment of the Budget: In general, Modi is trying to boost economic growth, and the idea to boost infrastructure in the countryside is desirable. Overall, you would have to look at the Budget as a plus than as a negative.
Impact of Trump’s policies: It is difficult to tell what the policies of Trump eventually will be because he is a very great talker, but I am not so sure that the implementation will be as he has promised during his campaign. Despite what he may do, the US economic expansion will be eight years old by June and the stock market bull run will be eight years old by March. We are dealing with an ageing bull market and an ageing economy that is likely to weaken rather than strengthen. Whether his policies will actually translate into strong growth is questionable. The US economy will weaken and the 4% growth target he has is completely unrealistic.
China defending globalization: If China becomes an economic superpower, I don't see anything wrong with it. Protectionism is a cancer and if the US believes that they will be great again through it, they are dreaming. Through protectionism, you actually disturb the market economy. Making America great again requires many other measures but certainly not protectionism.
Will the US Federal Reserve be able to hike rates three times this year? The Fed may increase interest rates at some point, but they will probably leave real rates negative for a long time. We have had many American property prices already declining and also rents declining, which essentially would rather indicate weakness in the economy than strength. Whenever the next recession comes, the Federal Reserve in my view will liquify the system with some sort of quantitative easing. They may not call it QE, but the impact will be the same.
Stance on emerging markets: For the next 10 years, as I have said in the case of India, one will make more money in emerging markets than in the US. By historical standards, the US markets are extremely expensive and there is hardly any earnings growth. In the last five years, we have seen an enormous inflow into ETF (exchange traded funds) and index funds and that has boosted large market capitalisation stocks in all markets, including India. The larger companies are relatively expensive in India. On the other hand, you have a lot of smaller companies that have been overlooked and neglected.
Do you think the RBI is likely to cut rates soon? For the average Indian, a stable or a strong rupee is much more desirable than a rate cut that will boost the stock markets.