Monday, November 26, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Concerns Top Fear Poll, But Central Banks and Politicians Seen as Key Systemic Threats

Concerns about the U.S. fiscal cliff continued to top the VIX and More weekly fear poll, while investor anxiety regarding weak earnings, Israel and China all declined substantially.

The biggest change in investor fears over the course of the past two weeks is a growing trend toward the mistrust of the role of institutions such as central banks and governments in economic matters. Concerns about central bankers and politicians are significant enough to poll in the #3 and #4 spots for all respondents, but rate even higher in the U.S., where government and politicians were the #2 concern and excessive central bank intervention worries garnered the #3 spot.

If one considers the fiscal cliff and the European sovereign debt crisis (still polling in the #2 slot on a global basis) to be situations that have been caused by and/or exacerbated by central banks, governments and politicians, then it is not too difficult to pin some 75-80% of all investor fears on central banks and governments.

As noted in previous weeks, the persistent Americentric bias shows no signs of abating. This week, for example, 12.4% more of the U.S. respondents cited the fiscal cliff as the top concern over the European sovereign debt crisis. For non-U.S. respondents, however, the fiscal cliff outpolled the European sovereign debt crisis by only 2.8%.

Once again, thanks to all who participated in this weekly poll.

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