“I really don’t know if they can engineer a soft landing.”
That was activist investor Carl Icahn, pouring cold water on recent comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who said that despite tightening monetary policy, the economy could avoid a hard crash.
“I think there is going to be a rough landing… Inflation is a terrible thing when it gets going,” Icahn told CNBC late Tuesday. “I think there very well could be a recession or even worse.”
The chairman of Icahn Enterprises said he has been keeping “everything hedged” for the past several years, with what he calls strong hedges on long positions. And he’s not willing to make any short term predictions, as he noted that the war in Ukraine has only added more uncertainty to an economic outlook already clouded by surging inflation.
were under modest pressure on Wednesday, but the S&P 500
has gained 1% this week so far. Amid a wave of hawkish comments from Fed officials this week, investors appear to have embraced the view that a central bank working to get inflation under control is better for markets in the long run.
In Powell’s speech on Monday, he noted that federal-funds rate was lifted “significantly” in 1965, 1984 and 1994, all without precipitating a recession. The central bank last week lifted its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2018, and signaled rates move near 2% by the end the year, and close to 3% by 2023.
Read: Stock-market bets on ‘soft landing’ for the economy may be ‘premature,’ warns Morgan Stanley