Billionaire George Soros believes a “bloodletting” may be in the offing for leveraged buyout firms (LBOs) and commercial real estate investors amid the worst economy in seven decades.
“In commercial real estate and leveraged buyouts, the bloodletting is yet to come,” Soros said in a speech in Europe, reported by Bloomberg News.
“These factors will continue to weigh on the American economy, and the American consumer will no longer be able to serve as the motor for the world economy.”
Bankers across the globe have accounted for $1.66 trillion of write downs and write-offs on bad loans since the start of the credit crisis in 2007.
Moody’s Investors Service reports that the global speculative default rate will peak at 12.5 percent this quarter as the U.S. and European economies struggle. The rate rose to 12 percent in the third quarter, up from 2.8 percent a year earlier, Moody’s reports.
That’s nearly 10 percent in just 12 months.
Soros reckons that, given these facts, the global economic recovery is “liable to run out of steam” and that a “double-dip” recession may emerge in 2011.
Others agree that a double-dip recession may hit soon, but for other reasons.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, says that the double-digit unemployment rate is undermining confidence, and not just in the financial industry.
With more suffering likely, the poor economic leadership of the world’s largest countries may cause a collapse of confidence among ordinary workers and businesses worldwide.
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