Robert Shiller: Budget, Debt Fights a ‘Wash’ for Markets

Nobel winner tells CNBC there’s little movement in either direction in response to the crisis

Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller. (Photo: AP) Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller. (Photo: AP)

Newly crowned Nobel laureate Robert Shiller, sharing the economics prize with two others, shrugged at the market’s reaction to the debt and budget debate, telling CNBC on Tuesday that it was “a wash.”

With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. hinting at a deal earlier in the morning, saying it was a potentially “bright day,” the Yale economist said equities haven’t really reacted to the crisis one way or another.

"Part of what's under grabs in Congress right now is this traditional American spirit that you can make money and you can keep it," Shiller told the network. "That's under debate now, so we have this budget, this debt crisis."

Shiller is known for his analysis of the Internet stock bubble and run-up in housing prices prior to the 2008 crash, warning in both cases of the crashes to come.  He releases the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a popular gauge for measuring home values.

His Nobel Prize, which he shared with another well-known economist, Eugene Fama, as well as Lars Peter Hansen, both of whom teach at the University of Chicago, was for his work in showing how markets behave in determining their value.

In his assessment of current patterns, he worries that housing growth will slow but said the market remains fairly strong though "risky,” according to CNBC.

"But it's not necessarily bad for the stock market," he said of the fight in Congress. "The Republicans want rich people to keep the money. That has to be good for the stock market. Of course, bad for the stock market is the reputational loss that this country could lose.

"So it's a wash. I don't see any clear outcome for the markets. So I don't have any alarm bells for the market at this moment."

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