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Alternative Market Briefing

Oaktree's Howard Marks finds opportunity in emerging market equities, private lending

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Oaktree's Howard Marks is bullish on large swaths of the global economy, but in an extended interview at today's Delivering Alpha Conference he questioned how long economic expansion can really go on.

"What you see when there are prolonged recoveries like this is people start making excuses for why the market is only ever going to go up. I've never seen that come true," he told CNBC's Scott Wapner.

Marks also raised concerns about Trump's tax bill. "There's a question about whether you should stimulate an economy when it's in the ninth year of a recovery," he said. "Doctors do not give adrenaline to healthy patients." He added that the tax bill did create a bump in corporate earnings this year, but questioned what happens next year when that impact fades away.

Still, Oaktree is finding opportunity. Marks said he was bullish on emerging market equities, private lending, real estate lending and infrastructure.

Marks also tied the extended expansion in the US economy to the growth in passive investments like ETFs. Over the past few years, more active managers have started to raise alarm bells about the potential liquidity risk embedded in ETFs, which promise daily liquidity but may find that doesn't hold up during a significant market correction. "So, for example, we have high-yield ETFs, which people assume they can sell any minute. But if they know that they had a portfolio of high-yield bo......................

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