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Cookson: Enjoy the rally while it lasts

The TSX composite index lost more than 11 percent last year. Although the index has partially rebounded in 2012, Richard Cookson, Chief Investment Officer at Citi Private Bank, warns rock-bottom interest rates can't sustain the market rally forever.

"[Record low rates] tell you something about the underlying state of the economy," he tells BNN. "At some stage…what you look at is the reason for rates being welded to the floor and that's very low potential growth rates and falling profits."

Cook, who oversees more than $280 billion US in assets, believes that years of growing debt will continue to weigh on economies in the years to come.

"As with Japan in the 1990s…the problem is the private sector has too much debt, that's why it's saving," he says. "It's less a supply side constraint from the banking system and far more of a lack of demand and a deleveraging process pretty much throughout the developed world."

Cook also says that recent signs of healing in America's embattled labour market are illusory.

"The sharp fall you've seen in the unemployment rate is solely because you've seen people leaving the labour force…had the participation rate stayed the same as it was at the start of the financial crisis the unemployment rate wouldn't have shifted at all," he says.

"So employment hasn't actually improved that much."

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