- Carl Icahn expects stock prices to fall, inflation to persist and the US economy to suffer more pain.
- He built up a Twitter holding prior to Elon Musk’s offer and might have put $1 billion behind it if asked.
- Icahn teased past bets against crypto and said he wasn’t surprised by FTX’s collapse.
Carl Icahn warned them the epic rally of the stock market won’t last, urged the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates until it breaks the backbone of inflation, and issued a gloomy outlook for the US economy in a recent CNBC interview.
The billionaire investor and chairman of Icahn Enterprises uncovered He bets against the S&P 500, may have shorted cryptocurrencies in the past, and might have put $1 billion behind Elon Musk’s Twitter bid if the Tesla CEO had asked him.
Here are Icahn’s top 14 quotes, edited slightly for length and clarity:
1. “I’m still pretty pessimistic about what’s going to happen. A rally like this is obviously very dramatic, to say the least, but you’re in a bear market all the time and I still think we’re in a bear market.”
2. “Whenever you have higher interest rates that have been going like this, you have an inverted yield curve, Treasuries yielding close to 5% – you’re going to have a recession. And I think we’re already in a recession.”
3. “There is a way down because inflation isn’t going to go away in the short term and you’re more likely to have a recession and more likely a drop in income.” (Icahn discussed the outlook for stocks.)
4. “I don’t think inflation is over. When I look back at the ’70s, it took years and years and years – you can’t wave a magic wand and get over inflation.”
5. “The Fed needs to keep raising. If she doesn’t, things will only get worse for the future. You need to cure this inflation. It’s not something where you just take a magic pill and get rid of it.”
6. “There are a lot of things that need to happen to reverse this economy and get us out of a recession.” (Icahn pointed to several headwinds, including continued wage inflation and the hit to household wealth from falling stocks and house prices .)
7. “I’m short the S&P 500. The S&P has a lot of tech stocks that are mostly too high. I think that when interest rates are high, they are not worth what they are sold for.”
8. “A lot of people called me about this and wanted me to do something about it as an activist. I prepared for it and watched it start buying stocks. I thought I’d try to get on the board.” (Icahn referenced on Twitter.)
9. “I was really glad Musk came. He stood for the same damn thing, and he’s a lot richer than me. I thought he was the perfect guy for it. And he didn’t need the money. ” (Icahn shared Musk’s concerns that Twitter was restricting users’ freedom of expression on its platform.)
10. “Nobody ever called me to go inside. I might have if he had called me. I might have put $1 billion at the right price.” (Icahn was asked if he was invited to join Musk’s $44 billion bid for Twitter.)
11. “I think it might spill over. That’s just one of the dangers you have in our economy.” (Icahn spoke about the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s digital asset exchange FTX and the resulting crypto sell-off.)
12. “I’m a smart guy. I’ve been trying to figure out cryptocurrency and why it’s valuable, but I couldn’t understand what it really has to offer. So I never bought any cryptocurrency. In fact, I may have trimmed them 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 managed? It’s a lawless area. I couldn’t see any accountability, 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.)