EDITOR NOTE: So, are we heading toward inflation or deflation. For most investors the case for “deflation” hasn’t reared its ugly head in years. But it’s possible, as some economists see deflation as a likely outcome. In any case, the inflation vs deflation outcome doesn’t matter--either’s effect on dollar holdings will be dismal, purchasing power will sink, and gold, the only real safe haven out there, will benefit whether the economy bubbles up or sinks to a new yet still-unaffordable price low.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The pandemic has changed the state of the economy and with it the most attractive risk assets, according to this week's guest on Masters in Business, economist David Rosenberg. He expects rates to remain very low for as far as the eye can see, with deflation a bigger risk than rising prices. He believes this is an ideal environment for gold to appreciate and he is betting on the metal.
The former chief economist at Merrill Lynch now runs his own firm, Rosenberg Research. Being independent allows him to make unfettered and honest research calls without the oversight and institutional constraints at a larger firm.
Rosenberg notes of the 10 million jobs recovered since the 2008-09 financial crisis, all of those -- and more -- were lost during the first month of the coronavirus crisis. Worse yet, the jobs newly created since the end of the Great Recession included many of the low-skill, low-wage variety -- jobs that generally don't offer the possibility of working remotely from home. He expects at least 10 million of these sorts of jobs will never be regained.
There are now 41 million unemployed workers, and it will get worse before it gets better, according to Rosenberg. He noted that the U.S. economy already was on thin ice, with low corporate capital investment and expenditures, and little profit growth. Industrial production and exports also were weak.
His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is here.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Next week, we speak with Jon Litt, chief investment officer of Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC, about the prospects for recovery in commercial real estate.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”
Originally posted on Yahoo! Finance