2016 Winter Roundtable in Los Angeles, CAFebruary 24-26, 2016
As PPI convened its 2016 Winter Roundtable, global markets continued their rough start to the year. Equities in both low- and high-income economies tumbled; China’s slowdown continued to disturb exporting countries such as Brazil and Australia, and the European Union’s structural weaknesses were again exposed. While the recovery has been felt unevenly, the global economy has mostly emerged from the recession. Between 2008 and mid-2015, worldwide unemployment rates went down and the US S&P 500 grew 92%. This improvement can be attributed in part to unorthodox monetary policy and government bailouts. These measures cannot, however, support the real economy forever, and economic fundamentals must at some point catch up. That time may be upon us. Stocks, commodities and beaten down sectors have seen impressive rebounds, but that does not necessarily mean smooth sailing during the coming months. Some observers predict another global recession – political disruptions, market bubbles, and central bank ineffectiveness – while others have signaled the arrival of a new low-growth environment. The 2016 Winter Roundtable focused on the latter scenario, in which this “new normal” could see expected returns dampened for institutional investors for years to come. How will investors approach this environment? How will they manage return expectations? How can innovation – both technological innovation and innovative investment approaches – help investors navigate this new terrain?
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