Billionaire Mark Cuban takes a swipe at Elon Musk's question about what inflation could look like in the coming years
- Elon Musk's question about inflation in the coming years is absurd, billionaire Mark Cuban suggested.
- "I think it's ridiculous to use a singular inflation number," he said in a tweet Monday.
Mark Cuban has taken a swipe at Elon Musk's question about the likely inflation rate in the coming years, saying it's "ridiculous" to go by just one figure, because not all asset categories behave the same.
—Mark Cuban (@mcuban) March 14, 2022
The billionaire investor was responding Monday to Musk's tweet, in which the Tesla CEO asked his followers "What are your thoughts about probable inflation rate over next few years?"
Cuban's post drew pushback on Twitter, with some pointing out that Musk hadn't asked for a specific figure.
Musk also shared Sunday that Tesla and SpaceX are seeing inflationary pressure in their raw materials and logistics.
In his reply thread, Cuban said low interest rates mean there can be speculation in any asset, and that can lead to surging inflation for the asset. Prices will normalize once market uncertainty fades and short-sellers return, he argued.
—Mark Cuban (@mcuban) March 14, 2022
In addition, the "Shark Tank" investor suggested the government might step in to control prices by acting as a market maker — a broker that helps create liquidity for traders — and shorting inflated assets. He seemed doubtful about how this would work, as he called on thoughts from economists to see what they might think.
Major inflationary pressure is being felt around the world. US inflation came in at a 40-year high of 7.9% in February, and market commentators such as Mohamed-El Erian expect the rate to hit 10% as soon as this summer.
In the same Twitter thread Monday, Musk advised his followers to "own physical things" like homes and stocks when inflation is running high. Even so, cryptocurrencies seem to be an exception for the Tesla CEO, as he said he wouldn't sell his bitcoin, ethereum, or dogecoin holdings.
Commodity prices have jumped in the last days of February, driven higher by the ongoing war in Eastern Europe. That has raised concerns about a knock-on effect to lift consumer prices.
Russia's war in Ukraine, while primarily a humanitarian catastrophe, has worsened the global economic backdrop. It has brought fears of disruption to international trade, especially in key commodities like oil, wheat, and nickel.
Sanctions imposed by the US and its allies on Russia are seen as potentially exacerbating the cost-of-living squeeze that consumers in the West already face from the fallout of the pandemic.
Central banks were already under pressure to tighten policy in the face of high inflation, driven in part by the supply chain bottlenecks caused by COVID-19.
Federal Reserve policymakers began their two-day meeting Tuesday, and market participants widely expect them to increase interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point at their policy announcement Wednesday.
Read more: A chief market strategist at a $29 billion investment firm lays out 3 unique alternative-asset trading plays that can act as 'ports in the storm' as the Fed prepares to hike rates
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