Tom Keene Talks to Carl Weinberg
What happens if Greece can’t reach a deal with its creditors?
If Greece goes down hard, one, that is going to cause a lot of institutions more pain than if we have an orderly resolution. And two, we’ll have a lot of questions to ask about the ECB and its own capital adequacy.
What will move intractable opponents to the action that gets Europe to move on?
I think they have to get scared. Maybe a breakup of the Greek talks and the prospect of a hard landing will get them to realize that this is really serious, that they really have to do something fast.
What are the ramifications for the U.S. of the mess in Europe?
We are of the view that the U.S. banks are pretty isolated from all of this.
How does the U.S. economy look?
We don’t think that the first quarter is going to be quite as strong as the fourth. We had the big inventory component of growth that is not going to be there again. And private demand growth of 1 or 2 percent—that is not really enough to give us the kind of recovery we would like to see. But globally diversified investors are still going to look to North America, because in our view we are looking at an economy that is safe, we are looking at an economy that is growing, we are looking at a sound banking system that is making credit, and that is a good value proposition for investors.