Sonders on Debt Ceiling, and Why a New Recession Is Unlikely Anytime Soon

Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders says she’s optimistic a deal will be reached on the U.S. debt ceiling and that growth will pick up in the second half of the year, and says the best way to deal with a potential U.S. debt default is diversification.

“We continue to preach the benefits of diversification among and within asset classes, both domestic and international,” Sonders writes in commentary on Schwab’s web site. “Why not just recommend investors flee to cash? Even if you did put all your money under your mattress (if only figuratively), you’d have problems if inflation accelerated, not to mention the opportunity cost in the event of a substantial relief rally in stocks and/or bonds.”

Sonders runs through several potential scenarios involving the debt ceiling debate. She says policymakers must act soon to get a deal done and restore confidence, but, beyond the debt issues, she sees several positives for the economy. Lending has picked up significantly in the past year or so, corporate earnings have been excellent, and the yield curve between the 10-year Treasury and fed funds rates is near a record high. “For those fretting a double-dip recession … spreads this steep in the past have occurred well before recessions have begun,” she says (her emphasis).