“When we get into one of these slower periods, and we’re in a slower period now — one-percentish GDP in the fourth quarter, negative earnings, the ISM numbers don’t look good as well — something comes along that could break the market.
Think of a boxing analogy, it’s the boxer in the first round who’s in shape, we hit him with a body blow and he took it, but now we’re in the eleventh round and we’re tired and we’ve taken a lot of blows; so that same type of blow now could actually put you on the canvas, where it wouldn’t have in the earlier rounds.
It isn’t just that we break something, it’s when we break it, and we are in a lower growth period now; breaking something now has greater risk to it than if we broke something a year ago.
In 2011 we tried to break the market with the downgrade of the U.S., we tried to break it in ’13 with the taper tantrum, we tried to break the market with the Chinese devaluation in 2015, tried to break the market in 2016 when crude oil fell to under thirty dollars, but the economy was stronger. Those were hits, it took those hits, absorbed them and continued on.
Now we’re in the 11th year of the 11th round; it’s a little bowed, it’s bloodied, it’s very tired, so if we were to give it some more hits now, that could put it on the canvas now. That’s why I think the risk of a recession is elevated now and will remain elevated as we move forward from here.”