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Billionaire predicts ‘probably recession’ in 2024, suggests US entering ‘7 lean years’ of Pharaoh’s dream

Omega Advisors billionaire CEO and chairman Leon Cooperman warned Wednesday that while the U.S. economy is “doing fine” at the moment, there is risk of a recession in 2024.

Cooperman said a recession in 2024 would be due in-part to the effect inflated energy prices and quantitative tightening would have over that time.

When asked on “The Claman Countdown” about the Federal Reserve’s continual rate hikes and whether they will finally break commodity price hikes that are a key element of inflation, Cooperman said quantitative tightening is indeed having an effect on economic outlook.

“I think that we’re going to get a recession probably sometime next year, and that’ll be the result of QT, the price of oil, a strong dollar, or Fed tightening.”

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NYSE traders (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty / Getty Images)

“But right now we’re not in a recession, and the prospect of recession near term is not that high,” he said. “The economy is doing fine.”

Cooperman blamed both political parties for the current malaise. He said that although President Biden and the Democrats continue to spend trillions while overseeing inflation spike, former President Donald Trump and Republicans ran a $1 trillion deficit during a time of fuller national employment.

Wars in the Holy Land as well as Ukraine have added to economic complications, he said.

While the investor and hedge funder has found many individual stocks that appear lucrative, he predicted the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to be “going nowhere for a very long time.”

Cooperman illustrated that outlook using the Biblical parable of Joseph translating Pharaoh’s dreams, the Egyptian monarch envisioned seven fat and healthy cattle standing on the bank of the Nile, only to be consumed by seven feeble cattle that appeared behind them — while later envisioning seven healthy ears of corn being subsumed by seven subsequent blighted ears.

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“The dream was interpreted by Joseph, and the dream was in the Bible,” Cooperman said. “His dream was we could have seven lean years following the seven fat years. I think we’ve had very, very aggressive fiscal policy.”

“We pulled demand forward and either we go into fiat currency or the government has to start to deal with the deficit. If they start to deal with the deficit, it’s going to be negative for corporate profits and economic growth.”

One potential repercussion of the Fed taking a harder line on inflation is that it could cause selloffs in the market, Cooperman added.

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Cooperman tried to illustrate the “ridiculous” rate of inflation with his personal recent experiences. 

Claman said she recently refused to purchase a $17 smoothie. 

Cooperman also expressed shock at having to spend $56 for a hat for his grandchild at Yankee Stadium, along with purchases of $13 pretzels. He said that when he was growing up in the Bronx, vendors would sell “two-for-a-nickel” pretzels. 


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