Europe Economy

Short-Term Obsessed Must Heed Bernanke: Strategist


Following Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's change in tone last month, where he said that the "course of economic recovery was unusually uncertain," stock markets have performed well.

Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs hearing during which Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers second semi-annual report on monetary policy.

But one strategist said investors should be listening to the Fed chief more closely.

"Have we now become so short-term affixed that we are no longer able to see beyond the end of our nose?" asked Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BCG Partners. "I for one certainly hope not, though I do wonder why markets are showing a complete disregard to fears that some have that we might now move into a double-dip recession."

Bernanke's commentswere a clear indication that there's a "bank of fog ahead," Wheeldon said. 

"No matter what goes else is going on in Europe or Asia, the economic health of America really does matter for the rest of us," Wheeldon said.

"The US homes market is, at best, probably about as dull as dishwater and at worst, showing all the signs of heading into a double dip," he said.

"I continue to view that the current high equity market levels in the US as purely reflective of unsustainable results based euphoria and likely ignoring the probability of some ill winds ahead," Wheeldon said.

Some are arguing that the good times are returning, but Wheeldon dismissed these hopes.

"Neither in the US or Europe have we yet seen any signs of decent and sustainable improvement in full time employment," he said. "My personal view is that it won't be that long now before we start hearing more talk about extension of quantitative easing and further stimulus measures being applied."

"The US is one of those nations that, rightly or wrongly, believes that creating an environment to spend your way out of a mess presents the best way forward for the economy," Wheeldon said.

"It is absolutely true that despite carrying frightening levels of debt and running with a deficit for most of the adult lives of the so called baby boomers, such policy has worked for them," he said.

“Will it continue to be the way forward for the US? I guess that it probably will though it will be interesting to watch those opposed to continuation of such economic policy air views through mid-term elections," Wheeldon added.