Given the hype that surrounds reporting season one interesting fact which may have gone unnoticed was the call from leading economist Gerard Minack that a global recession could be coming.

According to a report in Business Spectator, Minack believes that over the next one to two years a global recession is on the cards.

What worries Minack most isn’t so much that a recession will occur but rather that governments around the world have very little policy ammunition left to respond to it.

Indeed, years of weak monetary policy have left the official interest rates of many nations – including Australia – at record lows.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from Minack’s warning however, is that despite the recent volatility and the lower share prices on offer, now is not the time to take on more risk.

As Minack takes a macro or big picture view of financial markets this leads him to suggest bonds as a good place to head in the current environment.

What should you do?

With the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 15% in the past 12 months, investors who heed Minack’s warning are no doubt keen to increase the defensiveness of their portfolios.

One way to do this is to move to cash, however, this does require an ability to time the market accurately.

Alternatively, more defensive stock holdings can be added to your portfolio.

Here’s one to consider…

Kerr Neilson is the founder of global hedge fund manager Platinum Asset Management Limited (ASX: PTM).

Neilson is definitely someone who understands more than most the importance of playing defence and worrying about the downside before getting too excited about the upside.

Indeed, Platinum has a long history of protecting investors’ capital and outperforming in down markets.

What’s more, Platinum has a rock solid balance sheet with cash and term deposits of $264 million.

These traits position Platinum’s business to not just come through a crisis in solid shape, but to come out of a crisis in better shape!

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.