Avenue's Lasry Says Geopolitical Tumult to Spark More Volatility

(Bloomberg) -- Geopolitics, rather than economics, will drive continuing market uncertainty, according to Marc Lasry, co-founder and chief executive officer of Avenue Capital Group.

While the U.S. and European economies are strong, there’s plenty of political tumult to go around, Lasry said in an interview Tuesday on Bloomberg Television. A brewing “mini cold war” in Europe, set off by the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in the U.K., could have major ramifications, he said.

“If Russia decides they want to come back hard and shut off the gas pipelines, that’s going to have massive economic issues,” Lasry said.

An unpredictable White House has triggered volatility as well, according to the money manager, whose New York-based firm oversees about $9.5 billion in distressed debt and other investments. Lasry cited the quickly developing trade war spurred by President Donald Trump’s array of tariffs against numerous countries and restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S.

“You have an administration that’s constantly doing different things and the market’s constantly being surprised,” Lasry said.

Lasry, who’s also co-owner of the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks, predicted demand for team ownership to rise in tandem with the sport’s surge in popularity.

“It’s a good time to be an NBA owner,” he said.

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