Will Morgan Stenley CEO James (not Jim) Gorman become as infamous as Citi's Chuck "as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing" Prince after his comments to Bloomberg TV overnight in Beijing.
When asked about George Soros’s comments this week, which included a warning that the European Union faces an "existential risk of breaking up" amid Italy’s challenges, Gorman scoffed:
“Honestly I think that’s ridiculous... I don’t think we’re facing an existential threat at all."
Investors should look through the bout of turmoil markets have been going through lately, Gorman confidently stated, adding that he expects interest rates to keep rising this year and three more rate-hikes from The Fed.
Gorman said Italy’s challenges are part of a broader political pattern that has been seen across much of the world, including in Britain, which voted to leave the EU in 2016.
“I think this is something which has been piling up over 10 or 15 years and there is essentially in many countries around the world a sense the average performance of the economy is much better than the individual performance of the citizens in their country.
And that’s what’s given rise to the waves of populism.
This has been a long evolving political trend that we’re facing... But no, I don’t think the eurozone is in jeopardy.”
Asked how investors should react to the political crisis hitting Italy and the eurozone, he replied:
“You don’t react to 24 hour news -- you can’t respond as an investor. We’re not traders, these aren’t hedge funds.”
“That’s not something you respond to. My reaction is you don’t -- you watch it for a while.”
So - ignore it and keep buying stocks... oh and sell bonds!
Benchmark 10-year U.S. yields are likely to keep climbing, taking the dollar up with them, in the Morgan Stanley chief’s view.
“I would be surprised if [10Y Treasury Yields at year-end] are under 3 percent; I would be as surprised if it was above 4.”
“My gut is the Fed will raise rates four times [three more times] this year,”
“I certainly don’t think the past 24 hours will influence that.”
Gorman ended on another upbeat message, noting that despite “good global synchronized growth” over the past couple of years, “we’ve had these political eruptions,”
“It's a competition between inexorable corporate growth, earnings improvement, economic strength; and political instability and the rise of populism.”
There's just one thing about that "global synchronized growth" - it's collapsing..