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Bear Stearns President: Market Tensions Are Easing

Bear Stearns President Alan Schwartz said Thursday flows in the financial markets are improving as fear related to this summer's credit crunch eases.

"Right now the anticipation in the market is for things to ease, which is taking some of the fear out of the market and letting things flow a little bit better," Bear Stearns President Alan Schwartz said in an investor presentation.

According to Schwartz, the odds are in favor of a potential slowdown in the economy, but not a recession.

The executive also added that the U.S. investment bank intends to expand revenue from overseas by working with local institutions rather than building competing businesses in every market.

Schwarz, speaking at the firm's annual investor day, said Bear Stearns envisions an "asset-light" strategy where Bear would partner with local banks, providing global capital markets products and services on a "wholesale" basis. That strategy would expand the business without requiring the deployment of new "feet on the street" in new markets.

Bear Stearns has suffered in comparison with its larger Wall Street rivals because it is still concentrated on U.S. markets, missing out on stronger growth in Europe and in Asia in recent years.