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The last time we heard from SocGen’s Albert Edwards was back in November when he re-dubbed the BRICs as “Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concepts.”Well, it seem the permabear is now out of hibernation. Earlier today, SocGen hosted an event titled “2012: The Final Year of Pain and Disappointment.”
If you’re a glass-half-full type of person, then you might think this means SocGen is optimistic about 2013.
But if you think it seems odd to put “Albert Edwards” and the word “optimistic” in the same sentence, then you’re right.
You see, Edwards expects 2012 to be particularly horrific for the global economy. Here’s what he said (via The Guardian’s Larry Elliott):
There is a likelihood of a China hard landing this year. It is hard to think 2013 and onwards will be any worse than this year if China hard-lands.
Edwards warns that China no longer has the financial capacity to sufficiently stimulate its rapidly slowing economy.
Regarding the U.S., he believes the risk of recession is high. According to The Economist, Edwards attributes recent strong data, such as consumer spending, to the falling savings ratio, which he argues isn’t a sustainable practice. He also cited Lakshman Achutan and John Hussman, who both subscribe to the ECRI’s recession call.
Edwards has been bearish for quite a while, and he has a tendency to push back his forecasts when they don’t materialise. Will this be the year Albert Edwards is right?