Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

Howard Marks: “The World Seems More Uncertain that at Any Other Time in my Life”

The latest from Oaktree’s Howard Marks is a must read.  Unfortunately though, Marks is not particularly optimistic about the future.  As the headline states, he’s more uncertain than he ever has been.  That’s saying a lot for a guy who has masterfully navigated from pretty tough environments over a long and successful career managing money.  Here are some highlights (or lowlights I guess).

On the general macro outlook:

“It’s my belief that we’re going to see relatively sluggish economic growth in the US for a prolonged period of time.  My expectations for other developed nations, given their specific issues, are even less positive.”

On credit trends:

“Few debtors can tap the capitals markets to the same extend they could five or ten years ago.”

On confidence:

“Consumers were traumatized by the crisis of 2008….It could require significant healing before these influences abate.”

On potential bright spots:

“Potential economic pluses for exist, and they tend to be overlooked in downcast periods like today.  These include the incipient housing recovery; the possibility of energy self-sufficiency;the fact that US manufacturing has slimmed down and our Chinese competitors have seen costs rise; and the fact that the US still leads in higher education, creativity and entrepreneurship.”

The whole letter is very good.  Read it here.




Cullen Roche

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC.Orcam is a financial services firm offering asset management, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance and Understanding the Modern Monetary System.
Cullen Roche

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