Barron's 2008 Roundtable - After the Deluge

DON'T LET THESE MOSTLY SMILING FACES fool you. We just as easily could have called the opening installment of the 2008 Roundtable "Before the Deluge"-that is, before the great unwinding of a quarter-century of excesses that our panelists, to a one, predict will set the investment tone for much of this year. Their forecasts for the U.S. economy are particularly sobering: a recession, or growth so tepid it will feel like one. Fortunately, their expectations for the U.S. stock market are considerably more upbeat, especially for the second half of the year.

This year's Roundtable met Jan. 7 in lower Manhattan, amid unseasonably balmy weather -- except for the blizzard of sell orders that morning, just down the Street. Drilled and grilled 'til well past dark by Barron's editors, our latest crew of 11 money managers and market seers shed copious light on subjects that ranged from inflation to interest rates to sovereign wealth funds and the price of breakfast in Paris. (Did we mention the Giants-Cowboys game?) One minute we were all in the 1960s, debating Kennedy-style tax cuts to help the middle class. Then it was on to the '70s; predictions of stagflation tend to do weird things like that. A year ago, you read nary a word about that eight-letter word "subprime." This year, you'll read lots about the nation's mortgage mess, and the folks who brought it to you.

Direct Link - After the Deluge.

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