- Carl Icahn expects stocks to fall, inflation to persist and the US economy to suffer further.
- He built a stake on Twitter before Elon Musk’s bid and might have invested $1 billion if asked.
- Icahn teased past bets against the crypto and said he was not surprised by FTX’s collapse.
Carl Icahn warned the stock market’s epic rally won’t last, called on the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates until it breaks the back of inflation and issued a gloomy outlook for the US economy in a recent CNBC interview.
The billionaire investor and chairman of Icahn Enterprises also revealed that he bets against the S&P 500, that he may have shorted cryptocurrencies in the past and that he might have put 1 billion dollars behind Elon Musk’s Twitter offer if the Tesla CEO had asked him.
Here are Icahn’s 14 best quotes, slightly edited for length and clarity:
1. “I’m still pretty bearish about what’s going to happen. A rally like this is of course very dramatic, to say the least, but you have them all the time in a bear market, and I still think we’re in a bear market.”
2. “Anytime you have higher interest rates that have moved like they have here, you have an inverted yield curve, treasuries yielding close to 5% – you’re going to have a recession. And I think we already have a recession.”
3. “There’s a way to go down because inflation isn’t going away in the short term, and you’re going to have more recession, more lower earnings.” (Icahn was talking about the stock outlook.)
4. “I don’t think inflation is over. If I look back to the 70s, it took years and years – you can’t wave a magic wand and end inflation.”
5. “The Fed needs to keep rising. If it doesn’t, it will be worse for the future. They need to fix this inflation. This is not something where you just take a magic pill and you get rid of it.”
6. “There are a lot of things that need to happen to fix this economy, to get us out of a recession.” (Icahn pointed to several headwinds, including continued wage inflation and the blow to household wealth from falling stocks and house prices.)
7. “I’m short on the S&P 500. The S&P has a lot of tech stocks that are mostly too high. I think with high interest rates they’re not worth what they’re selling for. “
8. “A lot of people called me about this and wanted me to do something about it as an activist. I was preparing and watching. I would try to get on the board.” (Icahn was referring to Twitter.)
9. “I was really glad Musk came. He was standing for the same damn thing, and he’s a lot richer than me. I felt like he was the perfect guy to do it. And he didn’t have no need for money.” (Icahn shared Musk’s concerns that Twitter was restricting users’ freedom of expression on its platform.)
10. “No one ever called me in. I could have done it if they had called me. I might have invested $1 billion in it, at the right price.” (Icahn was asked if he had been asked to join Musk’s $44 billion bid for Twitter.)
11. “I think it could spill over. It’s just one of the dangers you have in our economy.” (Icahn was talking about the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s digital asset exchange, FTX, and the crypto selloff it sparked.)
12. “I’m a smart guy. I tried to understand crypto and why it was valuable, but I couldn’t understand what it really had to offer. So I never bought crypto. Actually , I might have shorted it once or twice.”
13. “If you look at crypto, you look at Ethereum, you look at these companies. What do you do if you don’t like the way it’s run? It’s a no-go zone. There was no no accountability that I could see, and I still don’t see it.”
14. “I’m not surprised this happened because there really are no rules, no laws. It’s like the Wild West.” (Icahn was referring to FTX.)
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