Global Investing

What’s next? A U.S. downgrade or Spanish bailout?

January 16, 2013

What will happen first? A U.S. credit rating downgrade or the country’s unemployment falling below 7 percent?

Or Spain having no other option but to ask for a bailout?

Bank of America Merrill Lynch asked investors in its monthly fund manager survey what “surprises”  they saw coming up first this year.

And the result is: bad news will come first.

A U.S. debt downgrade got the top spot, with more than 35 percent of investors seeing that happen first, with crisis-hit Spain having to ask for more help a close second, at just over 30 percent.

The United States will have to wait a bit longer to cut its unemployment below 7 percent, with only about 12 percent seeing that happening first. Only 10 percent bet on Japan weakening its currency to 100 yen to the dollar and very few chose gold hitting $2,000 an ounce.

For the bank, it shows pessimism is still alive and kicking despite investors’ more positive view on the global economic outlook. It said in the report:

Despite the most bullish fund manager survey since February 2011, investors still think downside surprises (US debt downgrade & Spanish bailout) are more likely than upside surprises (US unemployment below 7% & 100JPY=1USD).

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