Tags: Ross | mixed | Fed | easing

Wilbur Ross: Lumbering Economy Has No 'Real Lift'

By    |   Friday, 05 April 2013 08:26 AM

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, CEO of WL Ross, says he is worried that the stagnant U.S. economy isn’t creating enough jobs.

"I think the economy is going to continue to lumber ahead," Ross tells CNBC. "There's not real lift. There's not real top-line growth and top-line growth is what makes jobs."

He also says he sees good and bad in the Federal Reserve’s massive easing program.

Editor's Note: Billionaires Dump Stocks. Prepare for the Unthinkable.

That program includes a federal funds rate target of zero to 0.25 percent and $85 billion of monthly purchases of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.

“I think QE [quantitative easing] has done a few good things,” Ross says.

“It's certainly true that it's contributed to the stock market bubble and especially the bond market bubble. But it's also true that it has helped reignite the housing industry, which is one of the very few strongly healthy parts of the economy.”

Fed easing also is limiting the number of corporate bankruptcies, “because a lot of companies that wouldn't have the ability to cover their interest payments in a high-interest rate environment are able to do it here,” Ross says.

As for the economy, he sees more sluggish growth coming. “I think the economy is going to continue to lumber ahead, very small rate of growth,” he says. “There's not real topline growth. And topline growth is what makes jobs.”

GDP expanded 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

Ross, famous for his distressed investing, sees an opportunity in shale gas stocks now. “Prices still aren’t very strong for the stocks, despite the fact that the price of natural gas has gone from over $90 [per million BTUs] to $4 today,” he says.

When it comes to monetary easing, Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian has qualms about the programs of central banks around the world.

"Rather than step back and ask why [the measures haven’t succeeded], they [central banks] just go deeper and deeper," he tells CNBC.

"The question is, will they finally succeed in transitioning from assisted growth to real growth, or will it end in tears? I think that's a major uncertainty, and the market doesn't quite understand just how binary this outcome is."

Editor's Note: Billionaires Dump Stocks. Prepare for the Unthinkable.

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Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, CEO of WL Ross, says he is worried that the stagnant U.S. economy isn’t creating enough jobs.
Ross,mixed,Fed,easing
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2013-26-05
Friday, 05 April 2013 08:26 AM
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