NEW YORK, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The "Global Economy Keynote Panel" panel at Quinnipiac University's seventh annual Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum in New York on Thursday showed considerable enthusiasm for a free-market approach to the world economy, with some support for trade deals such as the recently abandoned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Higher taxes and more regulation under the Obama Administration slowed growth and led to an unprecedented run of harmful negative interest rates, said Douglas Coté, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management. "Trump came in with pro-business, anti-tax policies and the markets went up and growth is returning. The U.S. is the most taxed nation in the world. The Chinese pay 25 percent. We shouldn't cut taxes, we should slash them." He predicted that the U.S. economy would grow by three percent next year.
A continuing weakness, speakers on several keynote panels acknowledged, is slow U.S. economic growth—in the two percent range. Frances Donald, senior economist at Manulife Asset Management, said the most important factor in that sluggish performance is human capital. "We're making less of it," she said, citing the fact that many countries, including the U.S., have low birth rates.
Coté said the U.S. has just five percent of the world's population, and needs to trade with the other 95 percent. "The biggest hotel chain in Africa is Marriott," he said. "We need more, not less, trade."
Tom Keene, editor-at-large for Bloomberg News and host of Bloomberg Surveillance, highlighted the continuing problem of low productivity in the economy. He said a study he'd done on housing starts showed them "nowhere near where they used to be."
Donald added, "Why is productivity so terrible? There aren't enough Elon Musks out there. Regulation is one issue—having to fill out five pages of paperwork every time you make a widget. But it's hard to isolate a main driver."
Asked by a student questioner about the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—Donald said that 10 years ago, China produced 10 percent of world GDP growth. "Today it's 30 percent," she said. "These countries have gone from interesting to important. BRIC investment represents a massive opportunity, and I'm not worried about it, I'm excited.'
The panel convened as Britain is preparing its European Union exit. Keene, who was in London when Brexit passed, said the city "was in shock. But England will survive."
Coté declared Brexit "a triumph of democracy." He returned several times to the benefits of unbridled markets. "The best thing the Federal Reserve could do with the $4.5 trillion it's holding is to split it up evenly among the people in this room and let them invest it in new businesses," he said.
The interactive conference attracted 1,500 college students, from 160 universities in 47 states and 40 foreign countries.
SOURCE Quinnipiac University