Uncertainty Creating 'Iceberg Economy' Right Now: Portfolio Manager

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke returned to Capitol Hill on Thursday, repeating yesterday's testimony before the House members. Randy Bateman, portfolio manager at Huntington Situs Trust Fund, discussed his insights on Bernanke's testimony and the Fed’s outlook.

“The one thing that’s important was 'uncertainty,'” Bateman told CNBC, referring to a line from Bernanke's testimony.

“One of the drawbacks we’re seeing in the marketplace and in the economy is uncertainty.”

Wednesday's steep market declinewas largely attribured to Bernanke's comments that the economic outlook is "unusually uncertain."

Bateman said weak hiring by smaller businesses also point to a degree of market uncertainty.

“They’re seeing a lot of regulatory issues: they’re seeing taxes that may be a little bit hidden before their view and they don’t want to hire knowing that this economy is shaky and so consequently, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that this economy is going to stay uncertain and weak,” he said.

“I’ve termed it something of an 'iceberg economy' right now—nobody wants to go full speed ahead because they saw what happened to the Titanic, and yet, everybody that’s sitting on the iceberg has frozen into inactivity and that’s not a good thing,” he explained.

Scorecard—What He Said:

  • Bateman's Previous Appearance on CNBC (Jul. 14, 2010)

More Views on Bernanke's Comments:

CNBC Data Pages:

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Thursday's Top Dow Gainers (As of Noon):


American Express

United Technologies


Home Depot


No immediate information was available for Bateman or his firm.