| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Oct 25 The so-called fiscal cliff of
automatic spending cuts and tax rises set to occur on Jan. 1 if
Congress fails to act before then will be the most important
issue facing the next U.S. president after the election,
BlackRock Chief Executive Laurence Fink said on Thursday, saying
there is a "very strong risk" of another U.S. ratings downgrade.
Fink, addressing a conference hosted by The Economist
magazine, lamented that President Barack Obama and Republican
challenger Mitt Romney did not address the cliff in their
pre-election debates. Nonetheless, Fink sounded a more positive
tone on U.S. economic prospects relative to Europe, particularly
France, which he said is the most likely reason the euro zone
Addressing the fiscal cliff, Fink, the chairman and CEO of
the world's largest asset manager, predicted U.S. lawmakers
would strike a modest $300 million to $400 million cut in the
deficit before the end of the year.
"The most important issue affecting the next president will
be how they deal with the fiscal cliff, and not one question
from one of the (debate) interviewers ... was how are you going
to deal with that," Fink said.
While politicians wait for the last moment to act, corporate
CEOs are hoarding cash, which harms the economic recovery, Fink