Market Overview

Jim O'Neill: China Produces a New Greece Every 11.5 Weeks


Goldman Sachs' (NYSE: GS) rockstar Jim O'Neill reinforces his ongoing thesis that Greece-focused histeria is tedious at best. While he believes European Monetary System concerns are valid and sovereign debt issues will be there for the foreseeable future, he thinks Greece is small peanuts as long as other Euro countries such as Italy are not showing signs of fiscal disintegration.

"Who cares about Greece?" Goldman Sachs' Head of Asset Management told CNBC's Squawk Box this morning. "We know China has created a new Greece since January," referring to the fact that China's annual GDP growth, at last check $1.4 trillion, equals roughly 11.5 times Greece's total GDP of $300 billion.

"So long as Italy is supported and does the right thing, people exaggerate, still, the global importance of this stuff," he continues. "Greece is a lovely country, but as an economy and its debt, individually on its own is meaningless."

"The structure of the European Monetary Union has been shown to be flawed, and there are lots of issues that remain unresolved, and will continue to be unresolved," he notes to what matters in terms of Europe-related concerns. "These issues will probably be around for the considerable future.

"But the idea that they they are going to be what puts an end to the bull market and equities," he says, "I do not buy that at all."

On the subject of BRIC-- the multicountry acronym for Brasil, Russia, India and China--O'Neill thinks it is still the story, even as he prepares to release a new 11-country BRIC-like acronym. "We are a couple of years before BRIC exceeds the US GDP," he stresses the importance of these countries in the world economy. "These guys between them are driving the world economy."

"If you add to them Indonesia, Turkey, Korea and Mexico," he elaborates on some of the upcoming eleven, "These 8 countries are double the combined GDP of both US and the EU put together."

O'Neill thinks these countries are key to his faith that the world economy's growth is safe, despite current Western problems.

Echoing the just-released Goldman Sachs note, The Long Goodbye - The Case for Equities, O'Neill says that he has been saying that for months. "We have seen since August, and on and off since 2008, low levels of bond yields. Policy and people seem to have no trust that things will return to where they were," he says, "But despite Western problems, the world economy is trending higher than anytime in the last 30 years of my existence."

O'Neill does identify three threats to the current bullishness. He thinks that loss of economic momentum in industrials, rising oil prices and a sudden Fed rate hike would seriously impair the market recovery.


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