Analysis

By CCN: Stocks in some sectors are teetering on the brink of a bear market, and one Wall Street veteran believes it’s going to get worse. Mark Yusko, who is at the helm of Morgan Creek Capital Management, says that the bears are already out and stocks are going to finish the year lower by a double-digit percentage, according to his interview on CNBC. Before you write him off, consider that in 2018, he predicted that stocks would end the year on a sour note – and he was right. If he’s on target once again, the economy is headed for a light recession akin to the one that unfolded at the turn of the century.

Even though he isn’t calling for a recession that is of the magnitude of 2008, Yusko is pointing to another “credit crisis” in 2020. He wouldn’t be surprised to see stock market declines of between 12%-14% by year-end 2018. Considering that the broader stock market remains up by a double-digit percentage, this would be a precipitous drop in value for investors’ portfolios. Yusko is bracing for what he calls a “Growth-Pocalypse,” which he admits is hyperbolic, adding:

“When I say Growth-Pocalypse, I mean one handle for the second quarter, maybe lower for the third quarter, and recession sometime late this year/early next year…shallow recession like 2001.”

Back then, it wasn’t that the economy didn’t expand at all. But there were two-quarters of retraction (not consecutive), which created the recessionary environment.

What the Fed? Dovishness Precedes Recession

The latest Federal Reserve minutes revealed that monetary policymakers are in a dovish, not hawkish, mindset. In fact, they are more likely to issue an interest rate cut rather than a hike any time soon, which must at least be making President Trump happy. But an interest rate cut is a sign of economic weakness, not strength, insists Yusko. As a result, the Fed’s stance is nothing to be bullish about. In 2001, stocks remained in a bear market for nearly two years after the “light” recession.

If Yusko is so bearish on stocks, where do investors go for returns? He is a shameless bitcoin bull, saying that the leading cryptocurrency is a “great diversifying asset” and has “very low correlation” to stocks. He would bet on bitcoin over the S&P 500 over the next year and even the coming decade.


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