Carl Icahn has warned that the US economy is in a slowdown, blamed the Federal Reserve for persistent inflation and touted the bargains available to brave investors.
“The worst is yet to come,” the billionaire said of the economic outlook during MarketWatch’s “Best New Ideas in Money Festival” on Wednesday.
“Inflation is a terrible thing,” continued the chairman of Icahn Enterprises. “You can’t cure it.”
Icahn claimed that years of loose monetary policy have flooded the US economy with cheap cash, fueled rampant speculation and pushed asset prices to unsustainable levels. From his point of view, those times are over.
“We printed too much money and just thought the party would never end,” he said, according to MarketWatch. “And the party’s over.”
Not surprisingly, Icahn hailed the Fed’s decision on Wednesday to raise interest rates by 75 basis points. However, he would have supported a more aggressive 100 basis point hike to 3.25% to 3.5%, he said.
Via remote feed, the activist investor said he sees many assets trading at tempting prices and expects them to get even cheaper as markets go down. He singled out CVR Energy, an oil refiner and fertilizer maker, as particularly good value.
Icahn sounded the alarm earlier this year about some of the key issues now plaguing financial markets and the economy. He warned in January that asset valuations were out of whack and predicted that the Fed’s liquidity injections would create an inflation problem.
He also warned in February that he expects this whole thing to hit the wall one way or another. He was referring to the Fed overstimulating the economy with its easy money policies.
Icahn also hinted in March that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would exacerbate ongoing supply chain problems and a lack of cheap imports into the US, making it even harder for the Fed to rein in inflation without curbing economic growth and raising unemployment .
Given his earlier comments, Icahn won’t be surprised that stocks, cryptocurrencies and other assets have all collapsed this year, inflation remains near a 40-year high, and a recession looks increasingly likely.