BlackRock’s Fink Says There Are ‘Bubble-Like Markets Again’

BlackRock Inc. CEO Laurence D. Fink
BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink speaks during the Institute of International Finance Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, 2013. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink, whose company is the world’s largest money manager with $4.1 trillion in assets, said Federal Reserve policy is contributing to “bubble-like markets.”

“It’s imperative that the Fed begins to taper,” Fink said today at a panel discussion in Chicago, referring to the central bank’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. “We’ve seen real bubble-like markets again. We’ve had a huge increase in the equity market. We’ve seen corporate-debt spreads narrow dramatically.”

The Fed in September decided against reducing the bond purchases as economic growth remained muted. Following a partial U.S. government shutdown this month, policy makers will probably delay slowing the stimulus until March, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists conducted Oct. 17-18.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has gained 24 percent this year, after advancing 13 percent in 2012. The extra yield investors demand to hold high-risk, high-yield bonds has dropped to 444 basis points from this year’s high of 534 in June, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Index. That spread reached 440 basis points on Oct. 24, the narrowest since May 28.

“We have issues of an overzealous market again,” Fink said at the event, which was sponsored by the Paulson Institute and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

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