Wall Street bankers in Riyadh renew warnings over world economy

RIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Top Wall Street bankers renewed their warnings about the world economy on Tuesday amid geopolitical tensions and steep interest rate hikes to tackle decades-high inflation.

Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon said economic conditions would “tighten meaningfully from here” and the US Federal Reserve could hike rates beyond 4.5-4.75% if it does not see real changes in behaviour.

“If they don’t see real changes – labor is still very, very tight – they’re obviously just playing with the demand side by tightening. But if they don’t see real changes in behaviour, my guess is they’ll go further,” he said.

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Speaking at Saudi Arabia’s flagship investment conference in Riyadh, he said it was difficult to get out of “embedded inflation” without an economic slowdown.

The process of unwinding 40 years of “nationalized fixed income markets” is “disruptive”, Solomon added.

JPMorgan Chase & Co’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, speaking on the same panel, said the geopolitical situation was more concerning than a possible recession in the United States.

Dimon said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and tensions between the United States and China were more worrisome than a potential US recession.

“There’s a lot of stuff on the horizon which is bad and could – not necessarily – but could put the US in recession,” he said. “But that’s not the most important thing for what we think about. We’ll manage right through that. I would worry much more about the geopolitics in the world today.”

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Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh, Rachna Uppal and Aziz El Yaakoubi in Riyadh, and Yousef Saba and Lina Najem in Dubai; Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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