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TARP for Europe; more stimulus for U.S.: bankers

Sep 15, 2011, 5:49 p.m.

Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at BlackRock Inc, said the United States needs to use fiscal as well as monetary policy to convince cash-rich corporations to hire and invest.

He said companies are more likely to raise their dividends or buy back shares than to invest and hire because they do not know what policy to expect from Washington.

President Barack Obama has proposed a $447 billion job stimulus program, but it remains unclear how much will be approved by a Republicans in Congress intent on unseating him.

Some lawmakers have objected to more government spending for fear it will swell an already large budget deficit currently running at nearly 10 percent of output.

The inability of U.S. lawmakers to agree on measures to reduce federal debt prompted Standard & Poor's to strip the United States of its AAA rating last month.

John Chambers, head of the agency's sovereign ratings committee, said the downgrade and the large U.S. debt burden reflected that "there will be less ability to stimulate the economy with fiscal measures going forward."

But others said reducing the deficit should be a long-term goal and urged the government to take advantage of super low borrowing costs to boost near-term spending.

"If the world continues to be willing to lend us money at 2 percent for 10 years, for crying out loud, if there was ever a time to spend, this is the time," said Don Brownstein, chief investment officer at Structured Portfolio Management.

(Editing by Dan Grebler)

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