It won’t come as a surprise to market watchers that “Dr. Doom” Marc Faber isn’t getting any more cheerful.
But the noted bear at least found a sense of humor on Wednesday into which he could channel his bleakness.
The publisher of the “Gloom, Boom & Doom Report” told attendees at the annual “Inside ETFs” conference that the medium-term economic outlook has become “so depressing” that he may as well fill a newly installed pool with beer instead of water.
Drinking up seems to be Dr. Doom’s only answer for investors to get through this market.
The pool of beer quip was just the latest bad “cheers” that the 69-year-old offered at the Hollywood, Florida, ETF conference — Faber had said on Tuesday that he would not see another bull market in his lifetime.
On Wednesday morning, Faber argued that central bank policy intervention and slowing commodities demand in China have contributed to a low-growth environment globally. He said that China’s economic influence has increased “dramatically,” with the world’s second-largest economy contributing to both boom and bust in natural resource–producing nations.
Faber’s comments came as major U.S. stock averages waffled on Wednesday for much of the day, but faltered after the Fed announced its intentions to not raise rates and said it was “closely monitoring” the global outlook. Two earnings bellwethers with global exposure —Boeing and Apple — sank on Wednesday after weak quarterly outlooks.
In December, the Fed raised its target rate for the first time in more than nine years.
The overall tone of comment from speakers at the ETF conference has matched the market volatility, and notably, not only those like Faber who have long preached gloom and doom.
Vanguard Group CEO Bill McNabb said earlier in the week that investors should prepare for lackluster returns for a decade.
Morgan Creek Capital Management founder Mark Yusko said one of the main drivers of the markets volatility — low oil prices — will remain low, and no real upward movement in oil is going to happen.
Faber argued that low interest rates maintained in recent years by the Fed and other global central banks have had “numerous unintended negative consequences.” He highlighted the ease of borrowing around the globe, which he said has driven a “credit bubble” in China.
And Dr. Doom said the only ones who will come out OK from this market are the central bankers themselves — they may lose their jobs for poor performance but can always take high-paying jobs at big Wall Street banks.
Despite his often dire predictions, Faber identified one area of the market in which he has some long-term confidence for a rebound: emerging markets. He predicted a possible rebound for Brazil andRussia, which are among the economies battered by lower oil prices. He also reiterated Wednesday his hopes for growth in emerging Asian economies, like Vietnam.