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My Main Worry is Europe

My Main Worry is Europe

Can it get any better than this? That’s the question investors are asking themselves after an exceptional year. Despite a slowdown in the global economy and increasing trade tensions, almost every asset class is up for the past twelve months.

Mohamed El-Erian

Mohamed El-Erian is convinced that the world is nearing a tipping point. According to the internationally renowned economist who coined the term «New Normal», the faith of the global economy depends on a successful hand-off from monetary to fiscal policy and structural reforms. Otherwise, the world will sink into a mire of financial volatility and political collapse, he fears.

«As good as the ‹New Normal› was for the last ten years, I don’t think it will continue during the next ten years», says Mr. El-Erian in an extended interview with The Market.

In his view, Europe is getting much closer to a fateful junction. If the European economy hits stall speed, chances of a recession are increasing, Mr. El-Erian argues. Furthermore, he cautions that the U.S.-China deal will be a short-term truce since trade is no longer just about economics but also about national security.

Mr. El-Erian, investors are looking back at an amazing year with many turns and twists. What’s ahead for the financial markets in 2020?
There’s a tendency to what I call a «one issue market», meaning the market embraces a single issue and is influenced by that issue most of the time. For a long time, this issue used to be Central Banks, then it has evolved into trade. Trade will continue to be an important issue, even with the recent short-term truce. We have pressed the pause button on globalization. Now, the big question is if we press the play button again and continue to globalize as the market is assuming or if we step towards pressing the rewind button on globalization and deglobalize. That uncertainty is not going to go away. It’s going to be with us for the whole of 2020 because trade is no longer just about economics. It’s also about national security.

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