Mike Gleason: Well, to start out here Dr. Faber, before we get into some other stuff I wanted to hear your comments on the state of the U.S. economy. Now, it appears the Federal Reserve has finally gotten serious about moving rates higher at least modestly. U.S. equity markets seem to be discounting that fact, focusing instead on the so-called Trump trade. Markets are pricing in a huge infrastructure spending program and tax cuts stimulates that could overwhelm any modest tightening at the Fed. Now that efforts to reform healthcare seem to be failing we expected some of the optimism surrounding president Trump’s other initiatives would leak out of the stock market but so far that hasn’t happened.
Stocks remain near record highs and there isn’t a whole lot of interest in safe haven assets including precious metals. So, what are your thoughts here Marc? Is now a time to take some profits and move towards safety or is there still some good upside in equities?
Marc Faber: Well, I think that in terms of the economy I don’t think the economy is as strong as people believe or as the statistics would show and recent trends have rather been indicating some weakness is auto sales, not a particularly strong housing market and we have several problems as a result of excessive credit. So, I think that the economy is not going to do as well as people expect and concerning the huge infrastructure expenditure that Mr. Trump has been talking about, it is about a trillion dollars over ten years, maximum. In other words, a hundred billion a year.
In China in 2016 in the first ten months the infrastructure expenditures were 1.6 trillion, in other words 16 times higher than what Mr. Trump is proposing. So just to put this in a perspective. Now throughout Asia and the emerging world there will be a lot of infrastructural expenditures in the years to come. The question is will stocks go up because of that, maybe some stocks will go up and some will not. So, we have to be now increasing the selective in what we purchase in terms of equities. My sense is that the economy in the U.S. is weakening and not strengthening.
Mike Gleason: It is also possible markets aren’t responding to fundamentals and we ought to consider those ramifications. The advent of high frequency trading and massive intervention by central bankers could mean markets become more irrational than ever. It is possible for instance to see stock prices being bid higher despite slowing GDP growth, rising interest rates and congress failing to deliver fiscal stimulus here in the U.S. I mean, how artificial do you think markets are and to the extent today’s markets aren’t real, how much long will the central planners and bankers be able to maintain this illusion that they’ve created?
Marc Faber: Well, basically some people say that the central banks are out of bullets. This is not my impression. They can keep on printing money and boost asset prices where by not all asset prices will go up, some will go up and some will go down. But the point I want to make is the central banks are not really out of bullets. The economy, if it weakens some stocks will outperform others, in other words recently you’ve seen the weaker in automobile stocks, so there is still a selective process in the market. The stocks that have gone up the most recently are actually mostly companies with very little earnings, very high evaluations, Tesla, Amazon, Netflix and so forth and we’ll have to see.
All I can say is when I look around the world, I don’t see any particularly good values in the U.S. except in mining companies and I think some of the interest rate sensitive stocks are again relatively attractive because I expect the economy to disappoint, especially if the Fed continues to increase interest rates and so a short increase in interest rates could mean some further weakness in bond prices but eventually bond prices could rally again and this is my view that the U.S. by any standards compared to historical evaluations, compared to Europe, compared to Asia, compared to emerging markets the U.S. is very expensive. Now, can it go up another ten percent? Maybe 20 percent? Yes, between December 1999 and 2000 March 21 when the stock markets peaked out the Nasdaq was up more than 30 percent, but was it a good buy? No, everybody who bought at the time in the first three months of 2000 lost money.
So, my sense is that yeah people can buy stocks here but most of them are going lose money with the exception in my view, that mining stocks will perform reasonably well.
Mike Gleason: Let’s shift focus now and talk about what is happening elsewhere in the world, you’ve alluded to it in prior answers but you’re originally from Europe and now you live in Asia. Now, it’s easy for Americans to focus on domestic affairs such as the new president and lose track of important developments in other parts of the world. Can you update our listeners on developments you are watching in Asia? China in particular.
Marc Faber: Well, whether it’s sustainable or not the fact is that the Chinese economy has been improving recently, somewhat. Maybe it’s all driven by credit but for now they have stabilized the economy, it’s improving and it has had a huge impact on the prices on resources including copper and zinc and nickel and so forth and it has had a favorable impact on the Asian market. Earlier you asked me about the U.S… this whole euphoria about the performance of U.S. stocks, the fact is in Asia just about every market has outperformed the U.S. In Europe, just about every market has outperformed the U.S. measured in U.S. dollar terms. So, I think that the impact of an improving Chinese economy is being felt more in other emerging economies than say, in the United States.
Mike Gleason: How about Europe? The future of the European Union is in question with some important elections upcoming, banks there remain at risk and several if not most countries continue to struggle with slow growth and overwhelming debts. Give us your thoughts on Europe and how things might unfold there over the remainder of the year.
Marc Faber: Well, I’ve just written two reports recently highlighting that in Europe there are some companies, mostly utilities and infrastructure related companies that on a valuation screen appear relatively attractive.
The market has altered downwards and we are in a purchasing range. It does not matter even if India develops at 5% or 7% per annum but if think about the coming 10 years, you could simply anticipate an economy that grows all over on an average between 4 and 7% per annum, which is very a high growth rate.
I assume that earnings ultimately track the “GDP growth”. Presently, the estimations in India are satisfactory. But I have one thing to add. Just couple of years back, indexing has gained the tag of “new trend” around the world. Ample amount of money is been invested in a submissive way in ETFs—who are interested in buying index.
If we consider 2016, a huge difference can be seen in the achievements of distinct sectors in the United States—the gold shares being the best performing sector. Apart from it, energy sector performed best while biotechnology performed the worst. The world is again shifting toward “stock pickers’ era” wherein people give their best performance provided they are in the appropriate sector.
In the present year, some of the stocks related to the commodity will be of high interest; specifically the stocks including gas and oil. I have observed agricultural, fertilizer, and plantation companies to be the most interesting sectors. They have noteworthy future as prices have been very uncertain for agricultural commodity since 2011. These agricultural commodity prices will thus lead the game and put behind others resulting in increasing prices.
So this is what Marc Faber has to say about Indian economy. What are your opinions regarding the same? Feel free to share your thoughts.
Investment guru Marc Faber warns savvy investors to buy European shares amid a looming U.S. market tumble.
“I would buy European stocks,” Faber told Fox Business Network. He said the U.S. market is “completely out of range” with the other world markets.
“Investors should understand that markets can also go down and it would not surprise me to see the inflated asset markets especially the financial markets being down 20 to 40 percent at some point,” the publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report predicted.
Faber doesn’t believe all the media hype surrounding the raging bull stock market since Donald Trump won the election.
“ I think there will be a closing of this diverging performance with either Europe outperforming the U.S. or both going down or the U.S. going down more,” he told the Fox Business Network’s Charles Payne.
However, other business icons are much more optimistic.
Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, recently told Newsmax TV that he is optimistic that stocks have room to reach new records as President Donald Trump pushes forward with his pledge to cut taxes and regulation.
“Markets always try to anticipate the future. One of the reasons it had such a big surge since the election, especially small-cap stocks, is in anticipation of deregulation which the president started and I think he's going to follow through on that,” Forbes told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV's "America Talks Live."
Marc Faber the author of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, is of the view that India will outperform the US over a 5-10 year period. In a conversation with ET Now Faber said, “India has done very well in 2017 and is grossly outperforming the US. Even if India grows at only 5%, it is still better than the US, Europe”. Citing a PwC report he said, India would be the second largest economy by 2050. “Outlook for the Chinese, Indian economy for emerging markets, in general, is far superior to the outlook in our rotten western democracies,” he told the business news channel.
He also suggested in investing into commodity stocks given the low prices of commodities. Marc Faber preferred to invest in commodity-related plays over financial assets. However, Faber cautioned that each commodity has to be analyzed separately. He also pointed out to a positive outlook for copper, as he said that the shift to electric cars will increase demand for the metal. Among other stocks, Marc Faber named real estate, travel & tourism and hotels as the sectors he likes. He said he sees a huge opportunity in real estate on the trend of buying 2nd homes, and added that domestic and international tourism will bring potential for hotel chains, travel companies.
Earlier this year, Marc Faber has suggested that the newly-elected US President Donald Trump’s policies are rather good for the emerging markets, contrary to the popular sentiment that such policies will restrict trade from the emerging economies and hurt them. “Everyone makes a big hoopla on the US markets going up this year,” Marc Faber had said in a TV interview to CNBC’s Squawk Box. “We are up 4.66%, (while) Hong Kong is up 9%, Singapore is up 9%, Mexico is up 6%, and Brazil and Argentina are up 20%,” he had said to drive home the point that Trump’s policies were “quite good” for the foreign markets.