BOSTON—“The greatest stimulus package in the world is certainty. For the past two years we have not had certainty,” Bob Reynolds, president and chief executive of Putnam Investments told the Fund Forum USA’s Global Fund Distribution Summit here Tuesday.
But this is not a new phenomenon for America, he said. Beginning with its formation in 1776, the United States has continued to question and to doubt itself, he said. Most recently, since the financial crisis of 2008, America has lost sight of the fact it continues to be the world leader on military might, higher education, technology and innovation, Reynolds said. Corporations have $2 trillion in cash and are achieving record profits, with 40 cents of ever dollar of those profits coming from vibrant, global footrpints, he stressed.
As a result, Reynolds believes U.S. large cap stocks have a promising decade ahead of them.
America’s continued success is inevitable, Reynolds said. We just need to “reboot our economy” and regain our footing on the three key issues of: national debt, healthcare and jobs.
“I don’t think anyone has ever won by betting against America,” Reynolds continued. “When Americans see our country going off track, we don’t just get worried—we fix it. Americans are going to demand something better than decline from our political leaders.”
While the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 42% in 2000 to 76% in 2010, in Japan, it skyrocketed in those 10 years from 78% to 220%--the highest in the world.
“The U.S. is in better shape than our trading partners” in terms of its debt overhang, Reynolds said. “As well, the U.S. has higher birth dates, more legal immigration than the rest of the developed world, resulting in a population and a workforce that will be growing throughout the 21st century,” he said.
Reynolds has faith the U.S. will lead the way on “greater fiscal restraint and accountability,” advancing the nation’s “access to credit and fund flows. The United States of America is well positioned in terms of limited government and reliance on individual response, than other, welfare states,” he said. Further, unlike the European Union, the U.S. has the benefit of a common currency and a single central bank.
“Uncle Sam. The comeback kid?” Reynolds asked rhetorically. “The fact is, this country is moving to reduce its deficits. Congress is looking to cut $1 trillion by Thanksgiving, through cuts in defense and other discretionary spending.”
For the next decade, the dual issues of national solvency and spurring job creation will dominate the conversation in this nation, said Reynolds, who believes the U.S. will solve these problems.
“America 2020 will be on its way to reaching 400 million people by mid century—a population that will be younger than its global rivals,” he said. “We will be less burdened than welfare states and will have achieved less reliance on imported sources of energy, by developing new drilling techniques for gas and oil.”
Lastly, while the demise of America’s world dominance has been widely sounded, China’s fast-growing GDP is projected to reach only 27% of that of the U.S. by 2020.
“By the end of this decade, America 2020 will enter its next phase of growth,” Reynolds maintained.