Billionaire investor Carl Icahn warns a market crisis is brewing, says bitcoin may be an inflation hedge, and reflects on his Apple and Netflix bets in a new interview. Here are the 7 best quotes.

Carl icahn
Carl Icahn. REUTERS/Chip East
  • Carl Icahn warned federal stimulus is fueling inflation and will eventually cause a market crisis.
  • The activist investor hasn’t bought bitcoin because he doesn’t understand it.
  • Icahn said he wasn’t annoyed about losing out on $US40 ($AU54) billion by selling Apple and Netflix stock.

Carl Icahn trumpeted activist investing, sounded the alarm on federal spending, and explained why he doesn’t own bitcoin in a CNBC interview this week.

The billionaire boss of Icahn Enterprises also advised against making market predictions, warned of a looming inflationary crisis, and reacted to Insider’s recent report that he left more than $US40 ($AU54) billion on the table by selling Apple and Netflix stock.

Here are Icahn’s 7 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. “I’ve made it almost the cardinal rule to not try to predict the market over the short or medium term, and it’s served me well. I made the mistake of straying from that rule in 2020, and paid the price for it.”

2. “In the long run, the market is certainly going to hit the wall. I really think there will be a crisis the way we’re going, the way we’re printing money, the way we’re going into inflation.”

3. “Inflation is taking hold in a bad way. We need more productivity in this country, and the only way we’re gonna get productivity is to get the right guys to run these companies. Their crown jewels should be burnished. They should be spun off and taken out.” – calling for executives to carve out the best parts of their businesses, and giving the example of eBay spinning off PayPal.

4. “We’ve got a lot of smart guys working at Icahn & Company, and we just don’t understand bitcoin. I’m not saying it’s bad or good, I’m just saying we don’t understand it. We’re not going to invest in something we don’t get.”

5. “The jury is really out on whether bitcoin has intrinsic value or acts as a store of value. If inflation gets rampant, I guess it does have value. There are so many variables, it is a very difficult thing to invest in.”

6. “There was an article saying I could be worth $US40 ($AU54) billion more if I had kept Apple and Netflix. I don’t really care because I never would have kept them. When something really needs to be done, we try to get it done, and then we get out. We’re always gonna sell too soon.” – referring to a recent Insider report.

7. “We made a great deal of money doing this paradigm. When I stray from it, I’m gambling. If I’m going to gamble, I might as well go to Vegas, right? So I’m not going to, I learned that discipline. – Icahn said that investing in bitcoin would be a gamble for him.

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