A lot has changed in the last week with some large potential implications for real estate. The stock market has experienced its worst performance since the depths of the bear market in late 2008 and 2009 when US banks were being priced for insolvency. GDP revisions from key developed market countries have been severe, with non-trivial shavings to 2011 growth estimates in the US, Europe, and Japan. The disappointing global growth data has spooked the markets, suggesting that a revision to history is necessary – the recovery has been weaker than previously reported. The downward revisions to growth have sparked increased concern that some countries will not be in a position to pay their debts. Such fears have intensified in the face of weak or ineffective government action. Currency impacts expose the underlying fault lines as investors retreated to the Swiss franc and yen, with the US dollar down against these two traditional safe havens; but higher against the euro and pound. In the US, recent crisis concerning the debt ceiling and credit downgrade, have revealed concerns about the effectiveness of the political process. Furthermore, recent growth downgrades have raised concern over plans to remove (and rapidly reverse) fiscal policy support just as doubts about the sustainability of the recovery have intensified. Of concern is the apparent willingness of the US to focus on fiscal issues at the expense of the country’s current plight which is fundamentally about a growth crisis.
Source : UBS AG