Financial analysts and private bankers expect the global economy, with the help of a more dynamic Asian region, to bounce back sometime in 2010, but also anticipate employment prospects, vital in reviving consumer demand, to lag behind.
“I think 2010 will be the turning point in terms of the global economy,” said Olivier Collombin, executive director of the private bank Lombard Odier, Geneva, one of Europe’s oldest private banks. “And as we all know, the markets will anticipate it,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference by the Convention of Independent Financial Advisors, an umbrella group that represents independent asset managers who oversee more than 20 percent of global wealth.
Pressed if the recovery would come in the first or second half, Collombin said, “It’s hard to say.”
Collombin, who recently returned from business trips to the U.S. and Asia, said even though the American economy went into the financial crisis first, he was doubtful whether it will be the first major one to emerge from the slump. Instead, he anticipates the Asian region may come out of it faster.
“It is a more personal feeling, based on the dynamic spirit behind the region. The United States is so deeply into this crisis, so it can’t be all that easy to get out,” he said.
The International Monetary Fund, in its latest regional outlook for Asia and the Pacific, forecasts overall growth for Asia to decelerate to 1.3 percent in 2009 from 5.1 percent in 2008, and to return to 4.2 percent in 2010. The fund also projects the region’s biggest economy to grow by 6.5 percent this year, down from 9 percent in 2008, and to expand by 7.5 percent in 2010.
Leong Sze Hian, president of the Singapore-based Society of Financial Service Professionals, was upbeat that by the end of 2009 the global economy might start recovering. “I’m personally optimistic governments are really getting their act together. All you have to do is to keep on spending and you will be out of the crisis. It’s a matter of how much,” he said.
Mark Fisher, an American-Swiss asset manager with Wealth Management & Cie, Geneva, was more cautious and expects first a consolidation and stabilization before the U.S. and other economies fully recover. “I believe the global economy will stabilize, but it will not improve in the same way as having a big recovery, but rather more a consolidation.”
He said there are still issues that will continue to recur for some time.
“There will be increased defaults, there will be borrower defaults starting, and there will be some credit card defaults,” he said. Fisher said he’s looking at a turnaround “at the beginning of 2011 or late 2010,” and noted the continuing increase in unemployment is a concern.
“If consumers are going to get us out of this, then they’ve got to start getting jobs again, and they’re not going to get jobs in six months or in one year. They’re going to get jobs in a few years,” he said. He stressed that 70 percent of the U.S. economy is consumer-based, but argued that as it moves forward its pace will be reset, “which will be roughly 5 to 10 percent less than what we’ve seen historically.”
But analysts also expect the dollar’s supremacy to be challenged down the road with major economies such as China, Russia and others trying to diversify away from dependence on the dollar for transactions.
“My view is that gradually they will reduce their exposure to the dollar. Because after this crisis, and the amount of money everybody is spending, payback will come back sometime in the future, and it’s going to be a dollar-based crisis again,” said Leong.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)