Carl Icahn says our economy is broken by inflation and bad corporate leadership


Carl Icahn at the 6th Annual CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference on September 13, 2016.

Heidi Gutman| CNBC

Famed investor Carl Icahn believes the US economy is in trouble due to poor corporate leadership and stubbornly high inflation.

“The system is collapsing and we definitely have a big problem in our economy today,” Icahn said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” Tuesday. “One of the worst countries in the world for corporate governance.”

Icahn is a longtime activist investor and corporate raider, making a profit by making forced changes to corporate policies. He attributed his success to his ability to capitalize on questionable corporate-level governance.

“Leadership is worse than mediocre. And that’s why we’re so successful. I mean, not because we’re geniuses, but because you walk into a company today… It’s really horrible what you find,” Icahn said.

Meanwhile, Icahn said another major problem in the economy right now is rising inflation and the Federal Reserve has no choice but to keep raising rates to crush it.

“I think Powell should raise interest rates as soon as possible,” Icahn said. Inflation is the worst the economy can take… I don’t think you have a choice. If you don’t continue, I really believe that the problem of inflation can become such that it is very, very difficult to get out of it.”

Inflation picked up again in February, with the consumer price index rising by 0.4%. Annual inflation is now at 6%, which will likely keep the Fed on track for another rate hike next week, despite the recent turmoil in the banking sector.

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