(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller told CNBC on Friday that the increasing corporate debt in the United States will be a problem in the event of a recession.
“We are in worse shape for a recession now than if things had slowed down,” Druckenmiller said in an interview with CNBC.
He said he is not worried about the current state of the markets but is not sure about their direction, stating that he is not overly bearish or bullish on stocks.
Commenting on trade tensions involving the United States and resulting tariffs, he said their long-term impact is uncertain and suggested that companies may want to wait on capital spending plans for the trade disputes to be resolved.
“If you’re a company and you’re thinking about building a plant or doing capital spending - I mean really? Aren’t you going to wait now? See how this thing is resolved, what’s going on?” Druckenmiller told CNBC.
He also weighed on the Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 White House race, stating he does not have a problem with a higher capital gains tax supported by former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner in opinion polls.
“I don’t really think capital gains promote investment as much as advertised out there. It’s hard for me to believe that Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos would have said, ‘Oh my God, the capital gains is going to be 35 percent and I’m not going to be trying to found Amazon or Google.’ So I don’t have a problem with it,” Druckenmiller said.
He also predicted that if Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders were elected president, stock prices would be 30% to 40% lower than the current levels.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve Orlofsky