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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mohamed El-Erain on the "New Normal"

In the new normal, bottom up issues will actively compete with top down themes. The power of the convergence magnet – that mystical Anglo-Saxon model of liberalization and de-regulation where a prosperous post-industrialization phase relies on an ever-booming financial system – has weakened. No other model is able to step in at this stage...

Markets will revert to a mean, but it will not look anything like that of recent years. Relative to where it is coming from, the financial system will be de-levered, de-globalized, and re-regulated. Global growth will be lower and unemployment higher, notwithstanding the continued rotation of dynamism away from industrial countries and toward emerging economies. Price formation in many markets will be influenced by the legacy and, in some cases, continuation of direct government involvement. Burden sharing will feature more prominently, being one feature of the heavier hand of government in economic life.

For a financial industry known for its famously short memory (and related infrastructures and behavior), this will feel like a new normal. Adaptations will be needed as the configuration of risks and returns shift, government debt balloons, and capital structures potentially migrate toward a simplified structure consisting just of equity and senior debt instruments. Business models will need to be retooled, and investment management vehicles made more responsive and robust.
--- Secular Outlook, 5.09

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