Tags: Fink | recession | 2013 | cliff

BlackRock’s Fink: Fiscal Cliff, Euro Uncertainty to Push US Into Recession

Friday, 26 Oct 2012 10:05 AM

A combination of rising taxes and cuts to government spending coupled with continued murkiness out of Europe could send the U.S. economy into a recession in the first quarter of next year, said Laurence Fink, CEO of asset management giant BlackRock.

At the end of this year, the Bush-era tax cuts and other tax breaks are scheduled to expire at the same time public-spending cuts kick in, a combination known as a fiscal cliff that could send the country into a recession next year if left unchecked by Congress, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Meanwhile, the world remains unclear if Spain will seek a bailout from its European neighbors, which could require austerity measures.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

Requesting financial assistance would allow Spain to tap the European Central Bank’s sovereign bond-buying program, which would lower yields in Spanish government debt auctions and ease credit conditions in the country, bringing a wave of relief across Europe and elsewhere.

Such uncertainty out of Europe coupled with a lack of political will to avoid fiscal disaster in the United States could mean a recession here early in just a matter of months.

“If it’s resolved in a broad sense, in a quick manner, then the market’s going to resume its rally, and if it’s another kick the can down the road, it’s another small attempt to reducing our deficits, then I think we’re going to have a recession in the first quarter and markets are going to be quite unsettled,” Fink told CNBC.

In the meantime, U.S. business owners will continue to put off expanding and hiring until uncertainty ends, especially when it comes to the fiscal cliff, as businesses don’t know what they will be paying in taxes next year.

“CEOs today are pensive about what to do next. They’re just sitting back, they’re not hiring as much, they’re probably not spending as much and so there’s a deceleration in the economy and we all start feeling it,” Fink told the network.

“In addition, we expected to have a little more resolution in Europe. We’re waiting for Spain to ask for help and accept conditionality and that’s been probably delayed by a couple weeks. So, you’ll have a little more uncertainty than we would have liked to have seen in Europe.”

Even if policymakers in the United States and Europe do avert disaster, market downturns are possible in the meantime.

“I think there are reasons to take some profits in the short term, and we have to look now and see how these things are going to be resolved,” Fink said.

Lawmakers have generally been unwilling to address tax and spending issues in an election year but have suggested they can convene after elections or even early in 2013 and steer the country away from the fiscal cliff then.

Should they put political differences aside and strike a deal, the economy and stock markets could enjoy a much brighter 2013 when compared with recent years, other experts point out, including Deutsche Bank chief economist Peter Hooper, who pegs growth at 3 percent if disaster is avoided.

“This is an economy that has been laying the foundation for a considerably stronger performance,” Hooper told Bloomberg.

“What has the potential to drive it a good deal more rapidly is a lot of pent-up demand that’s been built up by a period of very sluggish, by historical standards, recovery from a very deep recession.”

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

© 2015 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

1Like our page

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved