Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk made it clear on Tuesday that he did not agree with the current administration officials — including President Joe Biden himself — who have claimed that a recession was “not inevitable.”
Musk made the comments during an appearance at the Qatar Economic Forum, saying, “A recession is inevitable at some point. As to whether there is a recession in the near term, that is more likely than not. It is not a certainty, but it appears more likely than not.”
The Tesla CEO’s assessment is diametrically opposed to the one embraced by the White House, with President Biden saying as recently as Monday that he did not believe the United States was doomed to face a recession in the near term.
“Economists are saying that a recession is more likely than ever,” one reporter prompted Biden, who responded by saying that the question made the reporter sounded “like a Republican politician.”
“Now you sound like a Republican politician, I’m joking, that was a joke, that was a joke. But all kidding aside, no I don’t think it is. I was talking to Larry Summers this morning, there’s nothing inevitable about a recession,” Biden said — but Summers has said on several occasions that he believes a recession is likely coming, and soon.
“Look, nothing is certain, and all economic forecasts have uncertainty. My best guess is that a recession is ahead. I base that on the fact that we haven’t had a situation like the present with inflation above 4 percent and unemployment beyond 4 percent without a recession following within a year or two,” Summers told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen agreed with Biden during a Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that although she did expect the economy to slow, she did not believe recession was inevitable.
“I expect the economy to slow. It’s been growing at a very rapid rate as the economy, as the labor market is recovered and we reached full employment,” she said. “It’s natural now that we expect to transition to steady and stable growth. I don’t think recession is at all inevitable.”
Musk, for his part, predicted major upheaval in May — but he seemed confident that the disruption would bring about a much-needed correction. “[This] is actually a good thing. It has been raining money on fools for too long. Some bankruptcies need to happen,” he tweeted. “Also, all the COVID stay-at-home stuff has tricked people into thinking that you don’t actually need to work hard. Rude awakening inbound!”