Judging the health of an economy by the movements of its stock market can be an exercise in futility, says Universa Investments head and “Black Swan” author Nassim Taleb.
“Short-term markets mean nothing,” Taleb told CNBC, because the risks that existed before the economic crisis hit are still present.
In fact, they’ve gotten worse.
“We still have a very high level of debt, we still have leadership that’s literally incompetent … and they’re not doing anything structural to remedy the problem.”
Not only do we have as much debt now as we did then, there are fewer people employed to help pay it off, Taleb notes.
Worse yet, private debt is being converted to government debt.
Washington is not nearly as aggressive as it should be about restructuring debt, Taleb says.
“The problem with the Obama administration is that they have been rewarding the people who got us here — Summers, Geithner and Bernanke,” Taleb says.
“Bernanke supervised the buildup of hidden risk in the system,” Taleb notes. “Giving more power to the Fed ... is like rewarding failure. You lose money in 2009; 2010, you get a bigger tax break.”
A survey of 52 economists conducted by The Wall Street Journal shows that 47 of them believe that Fed chair Bernanke should be reappointed to another term as Federal Reserve chairman.
The survey says there is a 71 percent chance that President Obama will ask Bernanke to remain as Fed chair.
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