"If we go to negative interest rates,” Gundlach said, “there would be nowhere for capital to go, and there would be large-scale destruction."

Gundlach believes we will see gains in the stock market this year, followed by it coming back down, as well as a “synchronized global expansion.” He feels certain the Fed will keep interest rates artificially lower by at least 200 basis points than they would be under normal conditions.

Changing Labor Force
Swonk noted the labor force is changing. "Almost all the heavy lifting is being done by millennial women," she said.

"We owe it to our youth to stop making economic decisions to boost short-term growth, but instead to make economic decisions to promote sustainability," she said.

Froehlich named four “landmark trends" he sees. The first is that the baby boomers are now outnumbered by millennials, who count 73 million to boomers’ 72 million. He cited a study saying "religion, patriotism and having children" are the most important core values to those 55 to 91 and the least important core values to those 18 to 38. 

While boomers and their predecessors aspired to a life of comfort and luxury (or wealth and ownership), Froehlich said, millennials and their successors aspire to "a sharing economy and subscription-based services." He said the new norm is that one does not need to own a car or even a bicycle or skateboard because of ride sharing and this new minimalism. "What you need to have is creditworthiness and non-ownership."

He also spoke about the "technological Cold War" between U.S. technology standards and Chinese tech standards. "I don't look for there to be any thawing of this war between the U.S. and China in the next decade at least."

Reverting back to his "Just Markets" call on January 7, Gundlach reiterated his assessment of Bernie Sanders's chances of winning the presidential nomination and election in 2020. Gundlach correctly called a Trump win in 2016.

"Would Bernie win the election?" he asked. "Well, that really depends on the economy. People would have to be more soured on capitalism and more welcoming of socialism as a broad concept."

Given a 30% likelihood of recession in Gundlach’s view, Donald Trump is most likely to retain the presidency. "Without a recession, I just don't see any of these Democrats having a chance," Gundlach said.

Lisa A. Ditkowsky, CFP, is the president of Pllush Capital Management Inc.

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