What is the best form of policy action in the U.S. or Europe?
I think the biggest worry out there is that policy is somewhat tapped out and we’re in a liquidity trap.
Bank stocks are struggling. Is it just that they have to adjust to 2 percent global GDP growth, or is there more going on here?
There’s been a perception of underlying vulnerability. Growth around 1.5 percent to maybe 2 percent is vulnerable to additional shocks that push you into recession. I think if there’s any good news in this, it’s that this is not 2008 to the extent that the real economy doesn’t seem to have the same level of imbalances. There are no inventories to trim in a drastic way, corporations are lean and mean. On the financial market side, there’s lots of liquidity.
A gallon of regular gasoline is down 35¢ from May. How do you play this?
As a short-term signal, it’s definitely negative as far as growth is concerned. Longer term it’s encouraging, and not just from the consumer standpoint. A lower oil price opens the door for the Fed in terms of reducing inflation expectations. Then they can contemplate additional measures to stimulate the economy, QE3 type measures.
What is the Ruskin strategy?
I don’t think we’re in meltdown mode in terms of U.S. fundamentals. The thing I’m most concerned about is Europe, to be honest.