Paul Lachine

The Uptick’s Downside

Since late last year, a series of positive developments has boosted investor confidence and led to a sharp rally in risky assets, starting with global equities and commodities. But at least four downside risks are likely to materialize this year, undermining global growth and negatively affecting investor confidence and market valuations of risky assets.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Since late last year, a series of positive developments has boosted investor confidence and led to a sharp rally in risky assets, starting with global equities and commodities. Macroeconomic data from the United States improved; blue-chip companies in advanced economies remained highly profitable; China and emerging markets slowed only moderately; and the risk of a disorderly default and/or exit by some members of the eurozone declined.

Moreover, under its new president, Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank appears willing to do anything necessary to reduce stress on the eurozone’s banking system and governments, as well as to lower interest rates. Central banks in both advanced and emerging economies have provided massive injections of liquidity. Volatility is down, confidence is up, and risk aversion is much lower – for now.

But at least four downside risks are likely to materialize this year, undermining global growth and eventually negatively affecting investor confidence and market valuations of risky assets.

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