Hell Isn’t Coming: With Markets At Records Highs, Contra-Indicator Bill Ackman Now Sees “Massive” Economic Boom
It seems like it was just yesterday that Bill Ackman took to CNBC, weeping, to declare that “hell was coming”, marking the post-Covid lows in the market almost to the hour.
If Ackman’s track record as a nearly perfect contra-indicator – despite his great returns over the last 18 months – is any indication, it may be time to get short the market.
That’s because Ackman took to CNBC this morning to proclaim there is a “massive” economic boom on its way.
“I think people are done – I am – with being in a cave. With hiding from the rest of the world,” he told Andrew Ross Sorkin.
“They wanna go out. They’re gonna have fun. They’re going to go to restaurants. You’re going to see, in my view, a ‘massive economic boom’.”
He continued: “I think we’re going to have an extremely strong economy come the fall, I think people are going to return to work in September. I think companies are going to insist on vaccines, and I think that’s a good thing.”
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) July 19, 2021
Ackman also predicted that rates are going to rise, telling CNBC: “I think rates are going up. Short rates I think are going to go up a lot faster than people think. Coming to the turn of the year … I think we are going to have meaningfully higher yields as people realize the economy is going to make a big recovery.”
“Today’s move … I would borrow as much as you can in the long term fixed rate on the basis of today’s rates,” Ackman continued.
Ackman also said during the interview that he believed inflation is understated – something we can directionally agree with Ackman on – and that the method for collecting data for CPI understates prices in the housing market.
Recall, in mid-March of last year Ackman was urging the White House to shut down the country for a month. Days later he revealed he exited his firm’s short positions, making more than $2 billion, around the same time the market bottomed.
As we said at the time, Ackman’s oddly poignant “Hell is Coming” speech will likely be remembered during retellings of the coronavirus market rout of 2020, if not for its surprisingly forceful impact (which remains a subject of debate), but for the many bizarre claims made by Ackman, including his comment about having had a ‘vision’ of COVID-19’s destructive potential.
At the time, some accused Ackman of trying to scare mom-and-pop investors into selling so he could scoop up shares of Starbucks, RBI and several other long plays at better prices. And during an interview with Bloomberg days after his CNBC appearance, the hedge fund investor sounded curiously optimistic, claiming that he had closed his shorts and was ‘100% long’, betting on a recovery.
Does this mean Ackman is loading his short book today?
Mon, 07/19/2021 – 11:00