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Portfolio > Economy & Markets

Faber’s Fatalist Forecast: Fed Will Cut Rates, Relaunch QE

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Marc Faber, editor and publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, is once again challenging the conventional view of financial markets, declaring Tuesday on “Bloomberg TV’s What’d You Miss?” that the Fed will not raise rates next year but “cut rates once again and launch QE4,” referring to a fourth iteration of quantitative easing.

Faber said the Fed would be reacting to “weakness in the global economy and deceleration of growth in the U.S.,” which is “already entering a recession.”

His analysis flies in the face of recent economic reports showing annual GDP running at about 2% for the year (through the third quarter), a 5% jobless rate, as well as increasing payrolls, rising wages, home sales and consumer confidence. In her press conference earlier this month Fed Chair Janet Yellen said improving economic data, including labor market conditions, led the Fed to hike interest rates for the first time in almost 10 years.

Faber is negative on the global economy, including the U.S., because of high levels of debt. “Excessive credit growth around the world, excessive leverage” caused the Great Recession of 2007-2008, and continues today, said Faber. “That is why we have a very anemic global recovery.… Debt to global GDP is 30% higher [today] than it was in 2007.”

Faber said credit can be divided into two parts: productive credit, used for capital investment in infrastructure and factories, and unproductive credit, used for consumption – government borrowing to distribute to “retirees” and “people that don’t work.”

Despite his view of government debt, Faber is positive on 10-year U.S. Treasuries and eyeing emerging markets, which “are moving into a buying range,” after having grossly underperformed the U.S. since 2011. But he isn’t making any major commitment to emerging markets just yet. “I think it may be slightly premature.”

Faber is bearish on U.S. stocks because they are expensive – “the median P/E is high” – and haven’t “performed well this year” except for the so-called FANG stocks: Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG).

The Swiss investor who lives and works in northern Thailand, told Bloomberg TV that he is bullish on countryside real estate in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Indochina, which he defined as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.

He didn’t mention gold – an investment he was touting at the beginning of the year when he forecast a 30% rally for 2015 – and added to about four months ago. Year-to-date gold prices are down around 10%, just under $1,070 an ounce.

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