Ron Baron Bullish on Stocks

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Ron Baron Bullish on StocksCNBC’s Julia Chatterley reports the Greek prime minister office says reforms agreed to were those requested by the Troika. Insight on what this austerity deal means for Greece’s economy going forward, with Ron Baron, Baron Capital; Peter Fisher, Global Head of Fixed Income, BlackRock; Byron Wien, Blackstone Advisory Partners.

box. julia chatterley joins us live from athens. julia we’re seeing our futures here in the u.s. come off of the highs of the morning, perhaps nothing gold can stay but we don’t have details of what will be announced yet, so what are you hearing? well it’s a lot of speculation here, too, but the prime minister’s office has apparently confirmed to local reporters that we have a deal. the new democrat party leader is also going to hold a press conference. this is a guy that could end up leading this country after the elections if the polls are to be believed. the pension cuts that were holding up this deal as of this morning are apparently going to go ahead, but not as large as initially asked for by the troika. some protrgs of that $300 million euros aparentally going to be offset to defense cuts, but of course this is all speculation. also, 22% cuts to the minimum wage as we thought and equivalent or a cost cut to unemployment rates here and also the entire wage structure set to lower as per this minimum wage. of course the helenic government statistics office stated unemployment rate here of 21%, so you can imagine people are shocked that we’re talking about talking to this about in the last few minutes, and of course the two largest unions here have agreed to go on strike as of tomorrow. so it will be interesting what happens in the next 24 and the 48 hours that they’re on strike to see how people here really react to this announcement. guys, it’s back to you. julia, thank you. i want to recap the last 42 minutes that’s happened. we saw a strengthening in the s&ps, and we saw a fixed income come off, and we saw the euro strengthen on the news that there was this deal. in just the past several minutes, mario draghi, the ecb president, has suggested that there’s more downside risk in the economy, inflation will go up before — and then it will start coming down, which has led markets to think that another rate cut is in the cards at the european central bank, which has caused all the things i just said to reverse themselves, and so now we’re in a situation where the s&ps are off of their recent even with yesterday. right. and the euro has come off. i’ll turn to smarter people than myself, peter fisher and byron wien, make sense of this. byron put the two things together. the ecb will cut and we’ve had this joining at the hip of the euro and u.s. stocks, so which way are you going to lean on this trade this morning? i think the important thing that’s happening is they’re moving closer to a resolution of the european sovereign debt crisis. if you achieve that, you take europe as a key risk for the world markets off the table. that’s what you need to do, so ultimately it doesn’t get me off my bullish stance on u.s. i’m going to hazard a guess one of the other reasons why we’re not seeing elation in the markets in response to this is that there’s big concerns of implementation. you have agreement on reforms, who is actually going to implement them. would you agree with that? absolutely. it’s very hard to impose austerity in greece. the work rule characteristics of that country are very inflexible. so i’m apprehensive about how much austerity they can endure but i’m on the positive side of that. if they have too much austerity the chance of them growing their way out of it or not having a severe recession is very high. so therefore, i want to see minimum austerity, because greece is not that important in the overall scheme. peter, is that your sense of things you put together what the ecb is doing, probably cutting rates and a greek deal that might provide the financing, avoid default all of this together is a bullish move? i think so, if they cut rates, i certainly hope the ecb will be cutting rates over the coming months, they’re tsunamthg that now. they need to cut. excuse me peter u el interrupt you, draghi headline the greek prime minister informed me that an agreement was reached and endorsed by the party, so that is further confirmation that the president of the ecb confirming there’s a deal. steve let me ask byron a question, if i’m watching the program today, program today, i listen to ron baron and listened to you, i haven’t been investing in equities, i’ve been concerned, haven’t listened to larry fink. the s&p is off 20% off of the recent lows, you’re seeing people like long-term bears like rubini start to get more optimistic. what do you mean? he converted totally. i was trying to be politically correct here. so should one, and i think andrew was asking, you were asking this question off camera, what do you do if you’ve been frozen now? how do you try to think about you’re listening to the news, maybe you think tonight, okay, there’s been some resolution in greece, what do you do? you start to buy stocks. you don’t put all your money to work, but you put money into the market. and you’re not worried we’re not going to have a hiccup in this train ride a little bit? ? i’m not worried about hiccups. i’m worried about digestion. people always jump on the train right at the worst time. then you don’t put — i’m not telling you all your money in it. byron, can you give us some historical perspective? does this remind you of any period where we’ve had, you know, the market is always cyclical. does this remind you of anything in terms of historical periods where we had investors not properly invest in terms of asset allocation? sure, it reminds me of every period like that, 1970, 1987, 1990. you know, whenever the market starts a major move, it always seems at the beginning that it moved too far, too fast, and maybe it will correct. probably it will correct, but that doesn’t mean you should keep all your money on the sidelines, if you’re out, you should get partially in. let’s bring ron in. ron, if you were to put us in an inning on this very subject, what inning are we in, in terms of equities right now? less than the first inning, no outs. we don’t even have one out? where are you really? that’s where i am. the stock market has been up 20%, 30%, as i said before, for ten years. it’s the worst decade, the worst decade in the history of our country. it’s unbelievable. only one other time turns worse in the 70s and the 30s, one other time in the history of the united states in 230 years interest rates are 2%. ron given that bullishness let me ask you how the growth fund is positioned right now. given that, your outlook, does the fund look any different than it did say a year ago, given the way you’re think beiing about ts right now? last year the market was flat and companies increased on average earnings 15% so the baron growth fund is a $6.3 billion, $6.4 billion fund, which i manage, that fund last year was up 1.2, 1.4, something like that, and the index against which i’m competing is down 2.7 or 2.8. right, but did you, has the port polio construction any different than three months ago? no, the turnover in my fund, the funds that we manage is about 14% or 15%, that means we own stocks for an average seven years. and do you stick with the u.s.? do you like the u.s.? seven years. ron, over some of the other markets, for example so far a lot of people are throwing money hand over fist into emerging markets as a catchup play from underperformance last year. do you stick with the u.s.? the emerging markets you were down 18%, 19% last year and the biggest rally so far this year, 10% or 12%. we have a fund that invests in emerging markets. it’s hard to think that the united states will grow as fast as emerging markets, for example, we have 4% of the people in the world and we had 35% of the world’s economy now have about 27%, 26%, so that’s going to continue to shrink other countries, other people will do better growth wise in the united states but the united states is a safer place, you know, they have freedoms here, you have rule of law. ron, when the show is over today and you call your office, you call new york, given the news that’s coming out, you’re going to ask them what? you think i’m going to wait until the end of the day to call my office? maybe you’ll call during the show but what themes are you going to look at given the news out of greece today? no difference. i mean, greece is the size of delaware, the size of it el d delaware. greece is the size of delaware. do you think it’s going to have an impact on the world? the government of the france and germany has been saying for years they’ve been so critical of us for letting lehman brothers fail, they say there’s no way we’re going to let greece take down the euro. sarkozy says it. why do you think greece would have an impact on the world? it does. but the financial markets. there’s another story. it’s had an impact financial on stock markets but hasn’t had an impact — but there’s a you tell us a bearish story out there, peter fisher, that the debt in the united states is unsustainable, there’s going to be a reckoning here, it’s going to come in higher taxes, lower growth, lower productivity. how do you respond to that? is that your long-term? you know what — about the time horizon. three to ten years, we’ve got to — do you know the average salary wage in the united states? go ahead, ron. do you know what the average salary wage in the united states in 1940? i don’t. we’re losing you there, ron. let’s go to peter for half a second. i want to be clear on the time horizon. we’re going to have a hard time getting consumption to drive this economy. households are still going to be constra constrained, savings rate, debt overhang is with us. right now if we start removing uncertainty, and greece isn’t important of itself, but if europe can get its act together and get it off center stage help get their act together, markets can have a good run here. i’m cautious on the u.s. economy. and already having a good run even without greece getting its act together. look, what’s happening in greece is a negative is being taken out. what the united states is doing, there’s not much prospect of the u.s. or europe growing faster than 3% in the next five years. the emerging markets are going to grow faster than five. if you’re looking for growth in the world, you’re going to find it in the emerging markets, and they’re attractive. they had good economies last year, their markets were down. they’re going to have less of favorable economies this year, but the markets are going to — by the way, i — this is incredibly important. andrew asked ron as a result of this, is anything going to change? and ron correctly answered, no, he does what he does. you speak to portfolio managers everywhere, all day, that’s what you do. do you think that th there are other portfolio managers that as a result of this news today will change their allocations to equities, buy stocks, the incremental buyer shows up as a result of this? do you think others really do? i think that if this is part of a resolution of the sovereign debt crisis in europe that more and more people will turn positive. we’ve got to leave it there,

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