Wells Fargo's CEO says there is 'no question' that the US is heading into a downturn, and it will be hard to avoid recession
- Charlie Scharf said there was "no question" of an
economic downturn, with a recessionhard to avoid.
- The strength of businesses and consumers would hopefully make any recession short, he told the Journal.
Wells Fargo's CEO said there's "no question" of an economic downturn in the US, and a recession looks difficult to avoid.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal's "Future of Everything Festival" on Tuesday, Charlie Scharf said, "It's going to be hard to avoid some kind of recession."
He said businesses and consumers are still strong, but the world is reacting to the Federal Reserve as it raises interest rates to tame surging inflation.
"You've got the
US inflation is running at 40-year highs, and the Fed is under pressure to control it before it harms the economy. But there is concern the central bank could tip the economy into a recession by hiking rates too aggressively. The Fed raised interest rates by 50 basis points in May, the biggest increase at one meeting in 22 years. It also signaled that similarly aggressive rate hikes would follow.
Scharf said while an economic downturn in the US is guaranteed, and a recession seems hard to escape from, the resilience of businesses and consumers would dampen its effect.
"The fact that everyone is so strong going into this should hopefully provide a cushion such that whatever recession there is, if there is one, is short and not all that deep," he said.
Concerns of a recession vary on Wall Street. Bank of America and Deutsche Bank say the US is certain to enter into recession. Others are less pessimistic, with JPMorgan and UBS acknowledging that economic pressures will persist, but they don't see a full-on slowdown.
Lloyd Blankfein, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, also warned of a high of risk of recession for the US economy this week. He said companies and consumers should prepare for it. He also said the Fed would have to slow demand and slow the economy by hiking rates to control inflation, adding, "And that's going to involve some pain."
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