Tags: Bogle | jack | vanguard | European | Debt | Crisis | Infect

Bogle: European Debt Crisis Can Quickly Infect US Markets

Monday, 29 Nov 2010 11:26 AM

Contagion from the European debt crisis could infect U.S. markets, and if it does, it will happen fast, says John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard asset-management firm.

European markets have taken a beating lately due to concerns that economic crises in Ireland will spread to countries such as Spain and Portugal.

Ireland has accepted a bailout package to rescue its banking sector, but the problem with European bailouts, Bogle tells CNBC, is that those countries aiding their neighbors are dealing with their own economic problems as well.

“I look to Europe, and I’m wondering who’s supporting who over there. These are not wealthy nations, any of them, and they are supporting their weakest members," Bogle says. "I don't see how it could help but be contagion," he said.

“Whether we like it or not we live in a global world and any kind of contagion is going to spread very quickly.”

The U.S. stock market is recovering although not in a stellar fashion, Bogle says, with earnings growing in line with overall economic growth.

"I don’t see anything that’s rapidly going to increase the rate of U.S. growth and world growth.”

Markets, meanwhile, continue to suffer from fears that Europe won't contain its debt woes.

"The worry is that Ireland won't mark the end of the eurozone crisis and with the economies of Portugal and Spain looking less than robust, markets are worried that we could be talking about potential bailouts once again in the not-too-distant future," Ben Critchley, sales trader at IG Index, tells the Associated Press.

European Central Bank policymaker Christian Noyer sought to bolster market confidence in the eurozone's rescue for Ireland, telling cagey investors they should have faith in the plan's success.

Noyer, the first member of the ECB's policy council to speak after eurozone ministers sealed the loan package for Ireland on Sunday, said he was confident the deal would bring down Dublin's borrowing costs to more normal levels.

"There is no reason to doubt the recovery plans of the two countries," Noyer said in a speech in Tokyo, referring to Ireland and Greece.

But market reaction showed investors thought the crisis that started with Greece's budget blow-out more than a year ago was far from over.

"I don't think this is going to be a silver bullet. I think there are still going to be some question marks on Portugal and Spain," said Peter Westaway, chief economist at brokers Nomura.

One of the questions that has been dogging markets for weeks and helped drive Ireland off the cliff was whether and under what circumstances private bondholders could be made to take losses, or "haircuts," on eurozone government debt.

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Contagion from the European debt crisis could infect U.S. markets, and if it does, it will happen fast, says John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard asset-management firm. European markets have taken a beating lately due to concerns that economic crises in Ireland will spread...
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2010-26-29
Monday, 29 Nov 2010 11:26 AM
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