In a keynote address at the AR Symposium in New York, hedge funder Kyle Bass reiterated some of his big themes regarding the global economy.
- Japan is doomed, thanks to its excessive debt. (Any day now his yen-denominated mortgage will become uber cheap!)
- Greek has no chance.
- Ireland has no chance.
- The US is in a situation like the PIIGS and Japan, but not really as bad.
- And “all roads lead to gold.”
So who does he like?
Among his dire predictions, Bass had some rare optimistic words about Switzerland. “When you think about Switzerland you have to extricate Credit Suisse and UBS because they became multiples of GDP … when you look at the rest of the banking system they don’t have banks go down,” said Bass. “Do you know why? Because the officers and directors of the bank become personally liable for the assets of the bank. So the give-a-shit factor is pretty high.”He added, “The Swiss banking system, in my opinion, is very robust, very solid. They make good loans.”
He also had praise for the country’s central banker, Philipp Hildebrand, president of the Swiss National Bank. “Hildebrand is the best central banker of any in the world,” he said. “He gets it.” Bass said once Switzerland deals with Credit Suisse and UBS, the country will be in good shape. “Once they fix those two, the rest of their system is OK.”