Carl Icahn says there ‘could very well be a recession or even worse’

Carl Icahn speaking at Delivering Alpha in New York on September 13, 2016.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Famed investor Carl Icahn said on Tuesday that an economic downturn could be on the horizon and he is tasked with protecting against a strong sell-off in the market.

“I think there could very well be a recession or even worse,” Icahn said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell Overtime” to Scott Wapner. “I’ve covered everything for the past few years. We have a strong long hedge and we’re trying to be activist to get that edge…I’m negative as you can hear. Short term I don’t know not even predict.”

The founder and chairman of Icahn Enterprises said soaring inflation is a major threat to the economy, while the Russian-Ukrainian war has only added more uncertainty to his outlook.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in more than three years in a bid to tackle inflation, which is at its highest level in 40 years. Fed Chair Jerome Powell pledged tough action on soaring prices this week, indicating he is open to a rate hike above the traditional 25 basis points.

“There’s no accountability in Corporate America. You have great companies, great CEOs, but way too many who aren’t up to the task,” said the longtime activist investor.

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