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Hard to bare the bear market

Steve Tripoli Dec 27, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

Lisa Napoli: Despite the gloomy economic news this year, it hasn’t been so hot for bear-market investors. Marketplace’s Steve Tripoli reports.


Steve Tripoli: Bear-market mutual funds have trailed all mutual-fund returns by a hefty 11 percentage points this year.

Doug Kass of the Seabreeze Partners hedge fund says economic optimists shouldn’t expect that to continue:

Doug Kass: Most market participants have their head in the sand with regard to the economy’s future prospects.

Kass says people who think this year’s economic storms have passed are wrong. He says fall-out from the debt crisis will collide with economic stimulus measures aimed at easing the pain.

Kass: I see a lot of the tailwinds to growth coupled with the unusual nature of the buildup of debt as contributing to a prospective environment which I would describe as “blah-flation” — “blah” economic growth coupled with persistently high inflation.

Optimists see buying opportunities in markets that have already priced in bad news. But Kass says many of those same folks were wrong about home prices holding up, and will be proven wrong about the staying power of consumer spending.

I’m Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.

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