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Dry Powder: The Private Equity Podcast

Macro Update: Calm, but Not Stable

We ask Bain’s leading macro expert about the “last mile” problem in the US and whether Europe has miles to go.


Macro Update: Calm, but Not Stable

The last time we discussed the economy, inflation was steadily dropping, markets were rallying, and the Fed seemed to be poised for another rate cut. Three months later, investors are still waiting, and doubts may be creeping in.  

You can listen to this episode of Dry Powder and catch future episodes by subscribing on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you may listen.

In just about every straw poll we’ve taken, investors are bearish on 2024. Most don’t expect a return to normative dealmaking until 2025 at the earliest. But is their pessimism warranted? And what are the real macro risks underlying their concerns? 

“So, things are calm, but not stable,” says Karen Harris, the managing director of Bain’s Macro Trends Group. “What we find we spend our time looking at is more the anomalies: Do we believe the headline data? Can we rely on them? Because the official numbers are tricky at the moment.”

Today on the show, Karen and I explore this moment of eerie calm. We’ll see how investors can navigate the “last mile” of rate cuts in the US and whether European central bankers are far behind.


The Private Equity Podcast

In our podcast series, Bain's Hugh MacArthur interviews leading experts on the trends and opportunities that will redefine the private equity industry.


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