Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital warned Thursday that the U.S. economy is about to blow up the housing market already teetering on the edge of a crash.
Billionaire investor, Barry Sternlicht, said in a Thursday interview on CNBC that he believes the U.S. economy will enter into a major recession if the U.S. Federal Reserve continues raising interest rates to combat inflation. “The economy is braking hard,” Sternlicht told the outlet. “If the Fed keeps this up, they are going to have a serious recession and people will lose their jobs.”
Sternlicht warned that more historic Fed rate hikes will cause unnecessary “cracks everywhere” in the economy, including the fragile U.S. housing market, during the fourth quarter of 2022.
“This is the steepest increase in rates in history — especially since Volcker – but the background of the country today is so different than when Paul Volker was chairman,” he said.
“Look at the housing market, [the Fed has] caused a crash of unprecedented proportions,” Sternlicht told CNBC. “500,000 single family home sells, new sells, is the lowest since 1952. We are going to have a major crash in the housing market and housing prices are going down. You are seeing housing prices correct.”
Sternlicht argued that without the recent U.S. Federal Reserve rate hikes, the increase in employment would allow Americans to combat the higher prices they pay for rent and groceries. “Inflation that is driven by wage growth is fabulous,” he told CNBC. (RELATED: Dow Tumbles 1,000 Points After Red-Hot Inflation Report)
With the Fed expected to increase the rate by at least .75% at their next meeting, Sternlicht warned that middle America will be the hardest hit.”Take the consumer that you just mentioned, he is paying higher rent. He is actually paying more for food. And he is paying more for gas,” he said.
“They [the Fed] are attacking the economy with a sledgehammer and they don’t need to.”