Money and Markets

Mohamed El-Erian says ample Fed liquidity is causing 'excessive risk taking' in the market

Business Insider US
Mohamed El-Erian
Mohamed El-Erian (Getty Images)

  • Mohamed El-Erian told CNBC that there's no doubt in his mind that liquidity from the Fed has encouraged investors to take "excessive risks."
  • The economist said that the Fed's statement yesterday reinforced expectations of liquidity that are driving the market. 
  • He added that the Fed's accommodative policy is necessary, but more fiscal policy is needed for the continued "well-being" of both the market and the economy.

Renowned economist Mohamed El-Erian told CNBC on Friday that there's no doubt in his mind that liquidity from the Fed has encouraged investors to take excessive risks.

"Everywhere you look there is excessive risk-taking going on," he said. "It's not just in the stock market, it's about debt issuance, it's about SPACs."  The chief economic adviser of Allianz and former CEO of Pimco said that investors have been "conditioned" to expect liquidity from the Fed, and the Fed's statement at the virtual Jackson Hole conference Thursday reinforced this expectation. The liquidity has taken the market a long way and could drive it up longer, but at some point "it has to be validated by fundamentals," El-Erian said. 

Echoing former Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday, El-Erian told Squawk Box that both monetary and fiscal policy are necessary to drive the next economic recovery. He said that the Fed understands that their accommodating policy is necessary but not sufficient.

El-Erian also listed two factors that must be ensured for the well-being of the marketplace and the economy: higher productivity and growth, and therefore employment; and lower household economic security. 

"That is what has to be delivered, and unfortunately the Fed cannot deliver that directly. It can just keep the gain going until other policy makers step in," El-Erian said.

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