Bloomberg News

KKR’s Henry Kravis Sees ‘Sluggish’ U.S. Economic Growth in 2012

November 16, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Henry Kravis, co-founder of private- equity firm KKR & Co., said U.S. economic growth will be “pretty sluggish” and corporate earnings may be “flat to down” next year.

The U.S. probably will avoid falling back into recession, Kravis said today at an investor conference in New York held by Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit. Kravis, 67, said he continues to see mixed signals in the economy and isn’t “overly optimistic” about 2012.

“When you look at overall earnings, it comes out of the financials and out of housing, and I don’t see much of anything happening there in the next 12 months,” he said. “I just think the growth rates will be pretty sluggish next year and I think earnings could be flat to down.”

Kravis said he’s concerned that European banks don’t have enough capital to survive the sovereign-debt crisis. He sees a “huge” opportunity to bid for distressed assets, he said.

KKR, founded in 1976 and run by Kravis and George Roberts, oversaw $58.7 billion in assets as of Sept. 30.

--Editors: Josh Friedman, Larry Edelman

To contact the reporter on this story: Devin Banerjee in New York at dbanerjee2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net


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