BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said Thursday he’s optimistic about financial markets as the economy attempts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am incredibly bullish on the markets,” Fink said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” while adding he shares long-term concerns about the implications of government deficits.
“Is that a worry for me at this moment? No,” he added.
A host of factors are likely to propel markets higher in the near term, Fink said, even as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are hovering near record levels already.
“I believe because of monetary stimulus, fiscal stimulus, the cash on the sidelines, earnings, the markets are OK. Markets are going to continue to be stronger,” said the co-founder and chairman of the world’s largest asset manager.
Near-term risks to the market do exist, he cautioned. He said the arrival of coronavirus variants that dramatically reduce the effectiveness of Covid vaccines is currently the biggest one.
By contrast, Fink said the government deficit — which has grown as the U.S. Congress passed trillions of dollars worth of pandemic stimulus to support the economy— poses a more long-term threat.
“Deficits right now are not a big issue, and that’s what the markets are saying,” Fink contended. “They’re not a big issue because the amount of money that’s on the sideline, the amount of capital that is trying to be put to work.”
However, Fink said the strength of the economy in the years ahead could change his outlook.
“If we don’t have economic growth that is sustainable over the next 10 years — and I’m saying economic growth that is above 3% — our deficits are going to matter, and they are going to elevate interest rates at some time,” he said.
Fink’s comments Thursday came after BlackRock reported first-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations. The company’s assets under management also increased to just over $9 trillion, up 39% from $6.47 trillion in the same quarter a year ago.