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Who's in the Video

Thomas Cooley

Thomas F. Cooley is the Richard R. West Dean and the Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics at New York University Stern School of Business, as well as a Professor of Economics[…]

Thomas Cooley talks about the investment opportunities in a weak market with a weak American dollar.

Question: Is there a silver lining in the economic downturn?

Thomas Cooley:  Well, it's a good time for investors, you know, I mean, successful investors view things as opportunities.  So the question is figuring out where they are.  And when things are booming, it's hard to find, you know, when the economy is just absolutely soaring, it's hard to find things that are underpriced.  But when the economy suffers a little hiccup like we have now, maybe even a big hiccup, then it's easier to find things that are underpriced.  So there are lots of distressed investors who are out there looking for bargains and expecting to do extremely well.  Because what happens is that the debt of say, just to take one example, the debt of bankrupt companies-- when a company goes bankrupt often just way overshoots it actual value so it'll fall far more than what the intrinsic book value of that debt ought to be.  And that's–– there are opportunities in that. 

Question: Are there opportunities in a weak U.S. dollar?

Thomas Cooley:  I think there are problems with the weak American dollar, but I think that it makes the U.S. an attractive target and attractive investment opportunity for foreign money.  And it also ought to have a, and has had a stimulative effect on our export industries.  So, you know, so there's a silver lining there.  I think it's really unfortunate if the U.S. dollar stays extremely weak for a long time.  I think that's not good for us.I think it affects the way people think about the U.S. economy.  It affects their overall viewpoint.  So I just think it's a bad signal to have a weak currency.

Recorded: 3/21/08