Marc Faber on Euro zone breakup and US and European equities
Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report, spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Betty Liu. The overall gist of his commentary was that a euro zone breakup would be beneficial and that he believes European peripheral equities are oversold. But like me, he believes that market leadership in the US is narrowing and earnings growth has stalled. This does not support higher market valuations. If the Fed tries to push equity prices to far with QE3, it could end in a crash, Marc says. Take a look.
Source: Bloomberg Television https://www.bloomberg.com/video/92396635/
Bloomberg copy below
Faber on whether he still thinks that profit margins will shrink and record profits seen will be no more for U.S. corporations:
"Yes, if you look at the statements by corporations, it is very clear. Earlier on, you had a commentator who said the exports to Europe from the U.S. are irrelevant. I agree with that. What is relevant are the businesses of American corporations in Europe and the earnings they derive from these businesses. That is definitely slowing down. The revenue growth is slowing down and, in my view, you will have more and more corporations that report earnings that are actually good but they do not exceed expectations…The bottom line is I think the market will have difficulty moving up strongly on less we have a massive QE3 and if it moves here and makes the high above 1422, the second half of the year could witness a crash."
"A crash, like in 1987…because the market would become technically very weak. I would expect the market making a new high. If it happens, it would be a new high with very few stocks pushing up and the majority of stocks have already rolled over. The earnings outlook is not particularly good because most economies in the world are slowing down. People focus on Greece but Greece is completely irrelevant. What is relevant are two countries — China and India — 2.5 billion people combined. They are a huge market for goods and these economies are slowing down massively at the present time."
On whether more Fed stimulus will put a floor on the S&P 500 this year:
"Yes, I think we had a rally that began March 2009 at 666 on the S&P. We made an orthodox pop a year ago on May 2, 2011 at 1370. Then we made a new high on April 2 of this year. The new high was not confirmed by the majority of shares and many shares are already down 20% or so and every day, there are shares that are breaking down or they no longer go on good news which is a bad sign. I think maybe we have seen the high from the year unless you get a huge QE3. That may not be forthcoming."
On whether the Fed will issue QE3:
"I think that QE3 will come, but it depends on asset markets. If the S&P dropped here another 100-150 points, I think that QE3 will occur. But if the S&P bounces back and we are above 1400, I think the Fed will essentially be waiting to see how the economy develops. The economy in the U.S. consists of different economies, some of it is very strong. I was in southern California and there the economy is doing fine. In other places, it is not doing fine. It is not universally bad. Compared to other countries, it is actually doing relatively well."
On whether Greece will exit the euro:
"There is a very good chance they will exit the euro and it would have been desirable if the euro countries had kicked out Greece three years ago. It would have saved a lot of agony. As a result of the bailout, the problem has become bigger and bigger and bigger."
On whether policymakers can manage the exit properly:
"I think it would be much better for Greece and the entire euro area if Greece were kicked out. Spain kicked out. Italy out and even France should be out. At the end you just have Germany with the euro. The other countries can have their own currencies and still trade and use the euro as an international currency."
"The bureaucrats in Brussels and the media are brainwashing everybody that if Greece exited the euro, it would be a disaster. My view is the best would be to dissolve the whole euro zone and that the countries would go back to their own currencies and still use the euro as an international currency the way you travel through Latin America and with a dollar you can pay anywhere you with. In my view, that would be the best. These countries that have financial difficulties, you will have to write off their debts and make it difficult for them to access the capital market in the future. Just to keep bailing them out will increase the problem. It will not solve the problem."
On how economic catastrophe can be avoided if the euro is dissolved:
"Explain to me why there would be an economic catastrophe. Many countries have pegged currencies have given up the peg to another currency and it was not a catastrophe. The public has been brainwashed that the breakup of the euro would be a complete disaster when in fact, it may be the solution."
On whether there will be a race to the bottom among various countries to devalue their own currencies if the euro is dissolved:
"I do not have a high opinion of the U.S. government, but the bureaucrats in Brussels make the government in the U.S. look like an organization consisting of geniuses. The bureaucrats in Brussels are completely useless functionaries and they want to maintain their power. They always talk about austerity being bad but if you look at the government expenditures of the EU, in 2000, it was 44% of GDP. Since then, it has grown by 76% under the influence of the Keynesian clowns and now it is 49% of GDP. That is the problem of Europe — too much government spending and lack of fiscal discipline."
On whether it’s a mistake to short the euro:
"I want to make this very clear — the investment markets may move in different directions than the economic reality because if you print money. That’s why in the Bloomberg poll, Mr. Bernanke is viewed so favorably because fund managers and analysts and strategists, they are only interested in having stocks up so their earnings increase and their bonus pool increases. But in reality, the economy can go downhill and stocks can go up just because of money printing and in Europe, the ECB has proven now that they are very good money printers."
On where to invest in Europe:
"Actually, usually when socialists come in or there is a crisis such as we have in Greece, it occurs usually near market lows. If someone really wanted to take speculative positions, he should look at quality non- financial stocks in countries like Spain, Italy, France, and Greece. I think rebound is coming. The market on a short-term basis is oversold. But if you look at the market action — first of all, we made a low on the S&P last October at 1074. We went to 1422. The market is down from 1422 to less than 1360. The whole world is screaming we’re in a bear market. This is a minor correction. I think it may become a more serious correction as the technical picture of the market has deteriorated very badly and as the S&P made a new high this year on April 2nd, all the European markets are lower than they were a year ago."