Expert Roundup: Shaking Out the Credit Crunch

Natalie Erlich,|News Associate

Ahead of the Fed's meeting next week, Squawk Box brought in a special guest lineup to address the economy, commodities, banks and interest rates.

Wilbur Ross on Banks

"I think that the big banks won't fail in the sense that they will go to zero and depositors would lose money. I think the Fed and other regulators will make things happen. I think it's the medium-sized banks, and particularly some of those that got overextended with the subprime and other kind of mortgage debt. I think those are the ones that had the serious mismatch, making 20- and 30-year loans based on 90-day deposits."

Wilbur Ross, WL Ross & Co. Chairman & CEO

Economic Panel

Greenberg: We are in a recession

"Look, I think walks like a duck and squawks like a duck, it’s a duck. And, I think we are in a recession…. I think there’s going to be some slowdown in other countries. We see inflation in China, for example. It will have an impact on China. Europe has got 7.5 percent, roughly, unemployment against our 4.8."

Hank Greenberg, CV Starr & Co. Chairman & CEO

Recession Fears

McCulley's Fed Forecast

"I think the Fed's got another 100 (basis points) to go. I would not be surprised— that's another way of saying I can't rule it out, so we get another 75 basis points—but I'm certain we'll get 50 basis points, either after the meeting or before the meeting. Until you get a fiscal program that essentially puts a floor beneath the property market, I think we'll be in a heap of a mess."

Paul McCulley, PIMCO Managing Director

Market Insight

Reduced Earnings Estimates

"Analyst earnings estimates are probably overstated. I think as you read research reports, almost every analyst in every successive report reduces the earnings estimates. So, I don't know what the earnings are really going to be for the S&P 500. But, in the beginning of the year I thought they'd be down 10 percent from the 2007 level and I still believe that's going to be something like where it's going to come out."

Byron Wien, Pequot Chief Strategist

Parting Shots

Biggest Growth Story

"Well China is probably the biggest growth story in business history. And in any short-term moment you can have issues with it, but longer-run with that huge population, with the urbanization and building cities, it's a great story and I think a great precursor for development around the world… From our business standpoint, because copper is such a great component of that, we're just very encouraged by it. And, even with all the problems today in the U.S., our business is very strong."

Richard Adkerson, Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold CEO

Mortgages as Fed Tool

"You cannot have a strong economy with your financial services, institutions, your banks, your broker dealers not providing liquidity and capital to the markets and willing to take risks. That's why I've said, and PIMCO has been saying the same thing, the Fed needs to stop just providing loans to allow these intermediaries to go into the market since they're unwilling to take risks, they need to take the risks themselves, they need to buy mortgages and sell treasuries right now."

Doug Dachille, First Principles Capital Management CEO