Alert for a bear attack

Sharemarkets took a turn for the better over the holiday season but with a series of problems still confronting the world, the bears could soon come roaring back.

Most of the commentary over the Christmas-New Year break has been concentrated on single regional or country issues, whether it be about Europe, the US, China or India. And of course there has been extensive writing about the domestic outlook in Australia. This morning I want to step back and look at the combined message.

Let’s start with the US, where there are signs of a modest recovery, remembering that the proposed big spending cuts do not take place until 2013. If and when they take place, the US recovery will begin to stall.

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