‘Bare the hatches’: Bezos and other billionaires issue recession warnings

(CNN Business) — Even the ultra-rich are now nervous about the economy.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, two of the richest people on the planet (who generally disagree on almost nothing), indicate some tension about a looming recession.

Bezos commented earlier this week that it’s time to “bail the hatches”, in a tweet which included a video of the CEO of Goldman Sachs saying he had a good chance of a recession on the horizon

Musk, for his part, was a bit more optimistic as he sought (ultimately unsuccessfully) to ease Wall Street’s concerns about Tesla’s growth prospects. In a call with analysts late Wednesday, Musk sounded confident, saying the company has “excellent” demand for the coming quarter and factories are running at full throttle.

But he admitted that demand was “a little harder” to come by, noting that Europe and China were in a “kind of recession”. Musk also warned that Tesla would fall short of its sales growth target.

Shares fell 7% in early trading this Thursday, despite Tesla reported near-record profits in the third trimester. Analysts and investors are increasingly concerned about Tesla’s ability to sustain growth in the face of logistical problems and rising inflation.

The comments from Musk and Bezos add to a chorus of powerful figures worried the economy is going to get worse. Earlier this month, Jamie Dimon, the billionaire head of JPMorgan Chase, spooked the entire stock market by saying that the United States could experience a recession in as little as six to nine months.

Even the celebrity who is not a billionaire but still rich, Gwyneth Paltrow, is losing sleep over it.

“The economy sucks,” he told the hollywoodreporter this week. “I’m just worried about next year and how bad the recession is going to be.”

Other celebrities also think. Last month, rapper Cardi B ranted about inflation and interest rates. “How do people survive? I want to know.”

It’s a reasonable concern: researchers recently estimated the probability of a global recession at just over 98%.

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‘Bare the hatches’: Bezos and other billionaires issue recession warnings