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Fear of next crisis is stifling investment, Nobel winner Paul Romer says

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Fear of the next financial crisis is pushing down investment, according to this year's Nobel Prize in economics winner Paul Romer.

[LONDON] Fear of the next financial crisis is pushing down investment, according to this year's Nobel Prize in economics winner Paul Romer.

The former World Bank chief economist told Bloomberg Television that investors may be prioritizing liquidity to protect themselves in the event of a selloff, rather than pursuing growth.

"The expectation of another crisis may be part of why we see so much accumulation of liquid assets and so little investment in machines, infrastructure, the things that really raise the quality of life," he said in an interview Friday in New York. "You want to hold on to a lot of liquid assets so you don't get forced to sell them off."

Economists and investors are on the lookout for signs of the next crisis, with the International Monetary Fund this month warning that investors may be underestimating the risk of a financial shock.

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"We'll almost surely have another financial crisis," said Romer, who shared this year's Nobel award with William D. Nordhaus. "We don't know when, but we'll have it happen again."

BLOOMBERG