Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has finished his “low interest rate party bus” cartoon slamming BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Back in July, Icahn and Fink were supposed to debate activist investing in a live broadcast from the CNBC Delivering Alpha Conference. That’s not what happened though.
Instead of a cordial conversation about activism, Icahn told Fink that BlackRock is an “extremely dangerous company.”
“I think BlackRock is an extremely dangerous company…Not that Larry is dangerous…What BlackRock is doing…. What is happening is very dangerous in our markets today,” Icahn said.
He was referring to the rise of structured securities that BlackRock creates like exchange-traded funds. BlackRock manages $US4.7 trillion in assets and is the biggest ETF provider in thr world.
Icahn said that he feels strongly that ETFs are “overpriced” and “extremely illiquid.” He thinks that they are going to “blow up.”
To illustrate his point further, he described a cartoon he had thought of comparing the market to a “party bus” being driven by Fink and Yellen. That bus, he said, would go over a cliff “and hit a black rock.”
CARL ICAHN: “I was telling my daughter, who does my Twitter thing, here’s a great cartoon. You get this party mobile, and everybody in this mobile. They’re all on this party and they’re all having a drink…They’re all having this drink, having fun. And you know who’s pushing that thing? They’re pushing it. It’s Larry Fink and Janet Yellen, pushing that. And they’re pushing the God damn thing, but it got even better…”
SCOTT WAPNER: I don’t think that’s fair.
ICAHN: Can I finish my cartoon? And then you can yell at me. They’re pushing this thing — fair or not, somebody should have said this in ’07. We should say it. This party thing is going. Every now and then, Janet wants — she wants to put the brakes on it. Larry says, ‘No. Let it go.” And the people in the party are yelling, ‘No, no, don’t touch those brakes! This is fun!” They are moving toward this cliff, see. And the cliff is there. And this thing is going to go over this cliff. And you know what’s going to destroy — they are going to hit a black rock. That’s right. That’s what I’m saying. And by the way, I’m not criticising you. You do what you have to do.”
“I said it laughingly,” Icahn said in his new video. “But I will tell you this — I’ve seen this before a number of times. I’ve been around a long time. I saw it in ’69, ’74, ’79, I tell ya ’87, and then 2000 wasn’t pretty. And I think a time is coming that might make some of those times look pretty good.”
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