Yahoo Finance - Gundlach: The 2020s Will See 'Real Turmoil' as US Debt Woes Come Home to Roost

December 20, 2019

Article by Julia La Roche in Yahoo Finance

Influential bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach, the CEO of $150 billion DoubleLine Capital, sees trouble brewing in the debt market, despite interest rates hovering near historic lows.

In a recent discussion with Yahoo Finance, Gundlach compared the current expansion to the boom that took place nearly 100 years ago. But the next decade will be the opposite of the roaring 1920s, he said, as the debt bomb the U.S. is sitting on becomes untenable in the next economic downturn. 

"It's pretty interesting because in the 20th century, the 20s were super boom times. And weirdly, I think the 20s this time will be very much different than that, with real turmoil," the 60-year-old billionaire said in a recent wide-ranging interview with Yahoo Finance. 

In Gundlach's view, the 2020s will see "the crescendo" of many unattractive trends that have been talked about for years, but finally come home to roost. 

"We're going to have to face Social Security, health care, all of these things, deficit-based spending — all of that is going to have to be resolved during the 2020s because the compounding curve is just so bad," the billionaire added.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal deficit will top $1 trillion every year beginning in 2022. Yet Gundlach said the agency’s forecast may be too rosy, given that it assumes a "pretty benign future" with no recession and interest rates that are not very high. 

Interest costs to the government, as a percentage of gross domestic product are expected rise from 1.25% to at least 3% by 2027. “That's a big, big increase. And that's coming,” the investor told Yahoo Finance.

“And when you do that, it kind of says, ‘Hey, GDP is going to be knocked by 2%-2.5% because we have to pay interest,’” he added.

To read this article in Yahoo Finance in full, click here.

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