JEREMY HOBSON: And the stock market is where we’ll start with Julia Coronado. She’s chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, and she’s with us live from New York as she is each Monday. Good morning, Julia.
JULIA CORONADO: Good morning.
HOBSON: So what happened to all the wild swings we saw in the stock market last week? Is everything OK now on Wall Street?
CORONADO: Well, I wouldn’t go as so far as to say that. One of the things that was happening last week — and really the last couple of weeks was the repricing and the outlook. Investors are taking down their expectations for growth, both in the U.S. and globally, so you had a lot of portfolio reallocation, out of equities into bonds, and so now, partly, that’s behind us.
HOBSON: So, they were sort of looking at what the future is going to look like — they’ve maybe reached the acceptance phase that it’s not going to be as good as they thought.
CORONADO: Exactly. Now I wouldn’t want to say that all of the volatility is behind us, because one of the things that is happening is also that investors and traders are going on vacation. So, last week we had very, very active, heavy volume in markets — this morning is extremely quiet. Very light volume — so part of it is just vacation time.
HOBSON: And Julia, we got some news this morning from Japan that the economy there shrank at an annual rate of 1.3 percent last quarter, which actually beat expectations, people thought it would be worse. Are those the kinds of numbers, down 1.3 percent, what we’re going to have to get ready in terms of growth in this country?
CORONADO: Well, some of what’s going on in Japan is that those numbers reflect the earthquake. You’re right that Japan is stuck in a very, very low growth environment and a lot of people wonder if that’s not where the U.S. is heading. We do have a lot of similarities with Japan — we had a credit boom and bust, we had equity market boom and bust, and we have an aging population so I think that is one of the things underlying the volatility is just trying to figure that out where we’re going next. And I think there is an acceptance, as you said, that the U.S. is in for slower growth. Where exactly that is, is very much up in the air, and a source of ongoing uncertainty.
HOBSON: Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, thanks so much, as always.
CORONADO: A pleasure.
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