A Goldman Sachs Research study of the last 100 years suggests US recessions can be boiled down to five major causes - and several (like industrial and oil supply shocks) look structurally less threatening today. But among those that still bear close watching are the financial balances of households and corporations, which GS Research's Chief Credit Strategist Lotfi Karoui says aren't showing signs of a private sector living beyond its means. Outstanding mortgage debt has declined drastically and consumer credit growth has slowed to a four-cycle low, while on the corporate side, strong profitability and debt-servicing capacity are providing a buffer for rising net leverage. That said, there are several pockets of risk - including the growth in leveraged loans, direct lending, and delinquencies in the subprime auto loan market - but Karoui thinks it's unlikely we'll see them drag the broader economy into a downturn.
This podcast was recorded on February 26, 2019.
All price references and market forecasts correspond to the date of this recording.
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