For investors, bloom is off Europe amid Brexit, yellow vest worries

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BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) – Europe, long a major destination of investor capital, is losing luster, say prominent bankers and asset managers, who are reducing exposure to the area because of concerns about issues ranging from Brexit to France’s “yellow vest” protests.

FILE PHOTO: Lara Warner, Group Chief Risk Officer of Credit Suisse, speaks during the Milken Institute’s 22nd annual Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Instead, investors and bankers at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills this week pointed to increasing U.S. prosperity, and many said they are doubling down on investments in the United States. Panelists and audience members, in contrast, expressed significant worries about what is happening across the Atlantic.

Among the concerns: Great Britain will experience a hard Brexit separation from Europe, resulting in financial calamities; “yellow vest” protesters demanding equality in France will push the country toward unsustainable economic policies; Italy is not dealing with underlying issues that sent it to a third recession in a decade; big banks across Europe, including Deutsche Bank AG, have not dealt with money-losing exposures stemming from the 2008 financial crisis; and the European Central Bank has run out of options to