Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Ken Griffin have flagged the risk of a US recession. Here are 12 grim economic warnings from leading commentators.

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Ken Griffin have flagged the risk of a US recession. Here are 12 grim economic warnings from leading commentators.
Jeff Bezos.Getty
  • Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Charlie Munger have raised the alarm on a US recession.
  • Carl Icahn, Jamie Dimon, and Ken Griffin have also flagged the risk of a painful economic downturn.

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Ken Griffin have raised the alarm on a potential US recession, joining a chorus of CEOs, investors, and academics predicting a prolonged economic downturn.

Carl Icahn, Jamie Dimon, and Charlie Munger also warned in the fourth quarter of 2022 that the economy could shrink and unemployment might spike. These experts have flagged numerous growth headwinds, including the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates to cool red-hot inflation, and the Russia-Ukraine war and China's ongoing lockdowns disrupting global trade.

Here are 12 recession warnings, lightly edited for length and clarity:

1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and executive chairman:

"The economy does not look great right now. Things are slowing down, you're seeing layoffs in many, many sectors. The probabilities say if we're not in a recession right now, we're likely to be in one very soon. Take as much risk off the table as you can. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."

"The probabilities in this economy tell you to batten down the hatches."

2. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter:

"It does seem like we're headed into a recession here in 2023. My best guess is that we have stormy times for a year to a year and a half, and then dawn breaks roughly in Q2 2024. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Don't get too adventurous. From a cash standpoint, keep powder dry."


3. Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel:

"For the Fed to truly conquer inflation here, we're going to put unemployment somewhere in the mid-4% range. I find it hard to believe we're not going to have a recession at that point in time, sometime in the middle to back half of 2023."

4. Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's business partner and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway:

"I think the Fed is willing to have a little recession in order not to have out-of-control inflation. That's what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to be the one guy at the party that doesn't hang around the punch bowl getting drunk."

5. Carl Icahn, chairman of Icahn Enterprises:


"Whenever you have higher interest rates that have moved as they have here, you have an inverted yield curve, Treasuries at close to a 5% yield — you are going to have a recession. And I think we do have a recession already. There's a lot of things that have to happen to turn this economy around, to get us out of a recession."

6. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan:

"There's a possibility of a mild recession. Consumers are in very good shape, companies are in very good shape. And there's a possibility of something worse, mostly because of the war in Ukraine and oil price and all things like that."

7. David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs:

"Generally, when you find yourself in an economic scenario like this, where inflation is embedded, it's very hard to get out of it without a real economic slowdown. The US is most likely going to have a recession."


8. Jeff Gundlach, DoubleLine Capital CEO:

"Recession is easily 60% in the next six-to-eight months, and for the year 2023, I'd put it at more like 80%."

9. Leon Cooperman, CEO of Omega Advisors:

"The combination of Fed tightening, quantitative tightening, a strong dollar, and the price of oil will create a recession in the second half of 2023. We've pulled forward demand because of very inappropriate fiscal and monetary policies, and ultimately a price is going to be paid."

10. Greg Jensen, co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates:


"We are expecting a much bigger recession than the markets are expecting. 2023 will likely be the year of a very significant global recession."

"You probably won't see the bottom of the equity markets until they begin easing, six to seven months from now. You probably won't see the end of the bottom of the economy for another nine months or so after that."

11. Nouriel Roubini, NYU Stern economist known as "Dr. Doom":

"History suggests it's going to be near mission impossible to avoid a hard landing. You're going to get not only inflation, not only a recession, but what I call the 'Great Stagflationary Debt Crisis.' So it's much worse than the '70s, and it's probably as bad as during the Global Financial Crisis."

12. Ken Rogoff, Harvard economist:


"You really have to look at the world, which is in bad shape. It's very hard for the United States to resist that. I worry that not only are we going to get a mild recession, I think the chances that we get a significant recession are really pretty high."

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