EDITOR'S NOTE: There’s a certain segment of American society that won’t believe any information to be true unless it came from a respectable (read: popular or mainstream) source. When we and other market commentators warned of inflation following the pandemic stimulus programs, most Americans didn’t consider inflation a threat. Many of us also warned about a severe recession while most wanted to believe in the fairy tale of a “soft landing.” So, what are most people saying now that the uber-rich elites, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, are worried about a deep recession?
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, two of the wealthiest people on the entire planet (who generally don’t agree on much of anything), are both signaling some tension about a looming recession.
Musk, for his part, was a little more sanguine as he sought (unsuccessfully, in the end) to ease Wall Street’s concerns about Tesla’s growth prospects. On a call with analysts Wednesday night, Musk struck a confident tone, saying the company has “excellent” demand for the next quarter and that factories are running at full speed.
Yep, the probabilities in this economy tell you to batten down the hatches. https://t.co/SwldRdms5v
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) October 18, 2022
But he admitted demand was “a little harder” to come by, and noted that Europe and China are experiencing a “recession of sorts.” Musk also warned that Tesla would fall short of its sales growth target.
Shares fell 7% in early trading Thursday, even though Tesla reported near-record profit in the third quarter. Analysts and investors are increasingly worried about Tesla’s ability to sustain its growth in the face of logistical problems and rising inflation.
The comments from Musk and Bezos add to a chorus of powerful figures fretting that the economy is going to take a turn for the worse. Earlier this month, Jamie Dimon, the billionaire head of JPMorgan Chase, spooked the whole stock market by saying a recession could hit the US in as little as six to nine months.
Even non-billionaire-but-still-rich person Gwyneth Paltrow is losing sleep over it.
“The economy sucks,” she told the Hollywood Reporter this week. “I’m just worried about next year and how bad the recession’s gonna be.”
Other celebrities are weighing in, too. Last month, rapper Cardi B ranted about inflation and interest rates. “How are people surviving? I want to know.”
It’s a reasonable worry: Researchers recently put the probability of a global recession at a little over 98%.
Originally published on CNN.