Sara Eisen is a Bloomberg TV macro reporter with a finger on the hottest debates in economics from Asia to Europe.In that position, she has one major advantage over your average investor on the Street — access. Eisen talks to everyone in macro economics. And recently, she spoke with Wall Street Sector Selector about what her sources are really worried about. One of them is pretty obvious, the other, perhaps not so much:
From the interview:
I have two things, two risks that I hear a lot about from some of the sources that I talk to. Number one for 2012, the key question is going to be China, is it a hard landing or a soft landing? You’ve heard that debate before but we’ve really started to see super fast growth slowing down. We saw that in the GDP number today coming in at 8.1% which is a 3-year low. The question is, are things going to get worse in China?
The other one is Japan, and you know Japan is near and dear to me because I spent some time in the wake of the Japanese earthquake there. I was actually there at the onset of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima reporting live. We have yet to see the full economic impact as the triple disasters in Japan, the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, not to mention the fact that Japan has the highest debt load in the world, or at least in the developed world, at over 200% of its economy. You talk to a number of investors, like hedge fund manager, Kyle Bass, saying Japan is a ticking time bomb in terms of its debt. And as we have the spotlight on the debt crisis in Europe, the question is, where does it hit next? Japan is a debt bomb and we’re talking about the third biggest economy in the world.
There’s a lot of debate around the Japan question. The country’s been able to hold on with a stagnant economy for so long, investors and economists won’t agree if there is a bomb there — or, if they think the bomb is there, they don’t agree on when it will explode.