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Not Beginning of a Bear Market: Goldman's O'Neill

Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 | 11:33 AM ET

Despite the "current paranoid environment" on Wall Street, "I don’t believe this is the beginning of a new bear market," Goldman Sachs Asset Management Chairman Jim O'Neill told CNBC Tuesday.

NYSE Traders
Oliver Quilla for CNBC.com
NYSE Traders

"If you look where markets are right today, even though it’s been very choppy and it felt like last week was another really bad week, we are still above the levels on the [Standard & Poor's 500], for example, from before the [Federal Open Market Committee]meeting a week or so ago back," he said.

O'Neill said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has sent a clear message the central bank will do more if need be to help the economy. He called the Fed's commitment to keeping interest rates low until mid-2013 a "very powerful" message.

However, O'Neill does not think Bernanke will announce another round of quantitative easingduring this week's annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

He said he's concerned about the current investor rush to low-yielding bonds.

Fed Watch: Where Markets Will Go Next
We are still above the levels on the S&P before the FOMC meeting a week ago, says Jim O'Neill, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who thinks the Fed does not need to rush into QE3; with Doug Dachille, First Principles Capital Management.

"What you do not want to have happen is lots of business and financial investors permanently embracing a low-yield, long-term environment," he said.

Putting last week's dismal Philadelphia Fed survey data aside, O'Neill sees "a lot of indicators suggesting we’re due for further recovery here," including improvement in retail sales. He said the Philly Fed data might have "been affected by so much of the nonsense going on in Washington" in the weeks leading up to the U.S. debt ceilingagreement between Congress and President Obama.

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