Ross Says Looming ‘Freak Show’ May Threaten U.S. Economy
“That’s too big a hit for the economy to take,” Ross said today during a discussion at Bloomberg Markets’ Global Financial Elite lunch in New York. “We’re going to have another freak show at the end of the year.”
Ross said he’s worried that President Barack Obama and Congress won’t be able to agree on extending tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush that expire at the end of 2012, or on mandatory spending cuts tied to the extension of the country’s debt-ceiling agreement. He said he’s optimistic about the U.S. economy between now and then, and found a new way to describe the shape of the recovery beyond a “W.”
“It’s more like punctuation,” he said. “Dots, dashes, question marks and an occasional exclamation point.”
W.L. Ross & Co., his namesake firm known for buying distressed assets in industries from steel to financial services, is largely avoiding investments in what he called “the Club Med countries” of Europe, according to Ross.
“It’s way too unsettled, even for our tastes, to be in Spain or countries like that just yet,” he said, adding that he has made deals in countries including Ireland. “You have to be very selective within Europe.”
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