Market volatility could remain even without euro debt crisis

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on September 22, 2011 in New York City.

Steve Chiotakis: Let's talk about this continued worldwide sell-off. Jill Schlesinger is editor-at-large at CBS/MoneyWatch, and she's with us live from New York, as she is every Friday morning. Hi, Jill.

Jill Schlesinger: Good morning.

Chiotakis: So what's this all about? Why are the stock markets -- it just seems like they're flipping out?

Schlesinger: Kind of, and I think it's the same two issues that have plagued us this entire year. Global growth has slowed significantly, and the European debt mess has yet to be resolved. I think the fact that the Fed actually acknowledged those two facts -- it wasn't new information -- but the inability of central banks or governments to address either of those problems has really spooked investors.

Chiotakis: Those were the Federal Reserve remarks earlier this week. Let's say we have this magic wand, Jill, and we fix Greece and the European debt crisis. Would that fix everything that's going on?

Schlesinger: I think without Europe, we would be able to remove a lot of volatility from the equation. But we would still be in a slow growth recovery -- maybe not as slow as now, but slow nonetheless. And the reason is, that when economies have booms that are financed with lots of easy money -- lots of credit, lots of lending --

Chiotakis: A bubble! I hear bubble --

Schlesinger: A bubble, and a bust -- is usually deep, and the recovery is painful -- economists say usually 7 to 10 years to recover from something like that. So our experience today looks pretty similar to historic financial crisis of the past. So even without Europe, I think we could be looking at another few years of a nasty recovery.

Chiotakis: I want you to explain something to me before I let you go. You're a former commodities trader. And we see commodities -- you know, people flock to safety, right, from the stock market -- too much risk. And they go to gold and silver. But even commodities are down -- why?

Schlesinger: Well, according to some of my pals who are still in the markets, the traders and the hedge funds have made a boat-load of money being long commodities and short the dollar -- that's been their big trade of the year. Now with the world in flux, many have said, "Let me cash in my chips, take my gains, and I'll wait to see where my next opportunity lies," It's days like those that I really miss trading, because I probably could have made some money.

Chiotakis: All right, Jill Schlesinger -- duly noted -- from CBS/MoneyWatch. Jill, thanks.

Schlesinger: Take care.


For more analysis, read Jill's blog post: "Why Stocks Fell this Week: Fear Beat Greed."

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...