Carl Icahn teased a $1.5 billion crypto bet, called for stricter rules on Wall Street, and warned stocks will tumble in interviews this week. Here are the activist investor’s 10 best quotes.

carl icahn
Carl Icahn.

  • Carl Icahn is studying cryptocurrencies and could shovel over $1 billion into the space.
  • The billionaire investor cautioned aggressive stimulus will ultimately hammer stocks.
  • Icahn disclosed a stake in Allstate and called for stricter financial regulations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Activist investor Carl Icahn revealed he’s mulling a billion-dollar cryptocurrency bet, disclosed a new stake in Allstate, and warned excessive federal spending will eventually tank the stock market in a pair of Bloomberg interviews this week.

The billionaire boss of Icahn Enterprises also defended Reddit and Robinhood, admitted he missed a trick by selling Hertz last year, and called for tougher financial regulations to protect investors.

Here are Icahn’s 10 best quotes from the interviews, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. “It takes a great deal of patience, permanent capital, and negotiating skill – as well as a very thick skin – to be truly a successful activist. Perhaps that’s why it is so lucrative and the best investing model that exists today.”

2. “I’m not necessarily looking at what to buy at this time. I’m just looking at the whole business and how I might get involved in it with Icahn Enterprises in a relatively big way. I do think it’s here to stay in one form or another. – disclosing that he might plow $1 billion or $1.5 billion into cryptocurrencies.

3. “The criticism is a little wrong-headed. ‘What’s the value of a cryptocurrency?’ Well, what’s the value of a dollar? The only value of the dollar is you can use it to pay taxes.”

4. “We do own Allstate, it’s a good example of a company that was undervalued. We bought it around six months ago when it was in the $90s. We never even had to talk to the company because its bosses did what they said there were gonna do. – Allstate, which has been revamping its business to reduce costs and interact directly with customers, boasts a stock price north of $135 today.

5. “We’re pumping a lot of money into this economy. Obviously you’re going to get inflation, which will eventually cause higher interest rates and a major correction in the market. But when it occurs and how severe it will be is a question that is impossible to answer at this time.”

6. “Is it gonna go up and how long is it gonna go up for? I don’t think it’s gonna end tomorrow, I don’t think you should go out and sell your stocks tomorrow. But sooner or later that party’s gonna have to be over.” – warning the boom in asset prices can’t continue indefinitely.

7. “I sure missed the turn there as far as Hertz is concerned. What the heck, you’ve gotta make mistakes in this business, there’s nobody that doesn’t. I congratulate those guys that held it.” – on his decision to sell his Hertz shares at a loss last year, and the news that the bankrupt car-rental company’s shareholders will receive a payout.

8. “I don’t think Reddit and Robinhood and all of those guys are necessarily bad. They serve a purpose, money is funneling back into companies. Some of these companies might be okay, but a number of them, the risk-reward ratio is absurd.” –Icahn described some meme stocks as “ridiculously priced” and warned there will be “a price to pay” in the form of higher inflation and future losses.

9. “Some of these egregious investments, who pays for them? In the end the small individual’s gonna pay. We’re going to excess in a lot of things.” – Icahn highlighted shopping-mall debt and GameStop as examples.

10. “We should do what we can to control Wall Street and this excess buying. We should be doing something to control fund management, we should be doing more corporate governance. If you did all that, a lot of these middle-class people wouldn’t lose all the money they’ve invested when this thing hits.” – calling for stricter government regulation of companies and markets.

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Former bitcoin skeptic Carl Icahn says he may pour more than $1 billion into cryptocurrencies – but predicts many digital assets won’t survive

carl icahn billionaire miami
Activist investor Carl Icahn.

  • Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he’s looking to get into cryptocurrencies “in a big way.”
  • He told Bloomberg he may invest more than $1 billion into digital assets.
  • He thinks some cryptocurrencies may get flushed out as they don’t boast any safety value.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told Bloomberg on Wednesday that he was looking to get involved in the cryptocurrency space, and may invest more than $1 billion into digital assets.

“I mean a big way for us would be a billion dollars, a billion-and-a-half dollars,” he said in an interview. “I’m not going to say exactly.”

Icahn has changed his tune on cryptocurrencies, after calling bitcoin and other similar assets “ridiculous” only three years ago. Telling CNBC in 2018 that he “wouldn’t touch that stuff,” he said his dislike perhaps stemmed from not understanding them.

Icahn, who currently has a net worth of $22 billion, said he hasn’t yet bought any crypto, but he’s exploring where the opportunities lie within the sector as a whole. He acknowledged cryptocurrencies are gaining mainstream acceptance as a consequence of rising inflation.

The activist investor said many cryptocurrencies in circulation right now may not survive, as there needs to be some form of safety value associated with them. “I don’t think there will be a lot of good survivors that are out there trading today,” he said.

Read More: ‘The best time to buy bitcoin is always now’: The founder of the world’s longest-running crypto exchange told us his best advice for navigating the digital currency’s wild volatility

While questioning the intrinsic value of the dollar, he said skepticism over the value of cryptocurrencies is a “little wrong-headed,” and the only reason the dollar is valuable is “because you can use it to pay taxes.”

According to him, the market is currently in a state of excess due to a combination of factors like an overflow of money in the economy, so-called meme stocks that are “ridiculously-priced,” and certain strategies presented by money managers.

“I don’t think Reddit and Robinhood and those guys are necessarily bad, I think they do serve a purpose,” he said. “Money is funneling back into companies. Some of these companies might be okay, but a number of them, the risk-reward is absurd.”

Icahn isn’t the only high-profile crypto skeptic to have changed his mind. Legendary investor Howard Marks said earlier this year he was being more open-minded towards bitcoin, and that his son Andrew “thankfully” owns a meaningful amount for the family.

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Carl Icahn names a former GE executive as CEO of Icahn Enterprises: WSJ

FILE PHOTO: Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on Fox Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York, U.S. on February 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Carl Icahn.

  • Billionaire fund manager Carl Icahn has named Aris Kekedjian as CEO of Icahn Enterprises, the WSJ reported.
  • Kekedjian, who will assume the CEO post on Monday, previously spent three decades at GE.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Billionaire fund manager Carl Icahn has named a former General Electric executive as CEO of Icahn Enterprises, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

In an interview with the Journal, the activist investor said Aris Kekedjian will take over as CEO and chief operating officer on Monday. Kekedjian spent three decades at GE, and was the company’s chief investment officer until 2019, the Journal reported.

Icahn Enterprises current CEO, Keith Cozza, and chief financial officer, SungHwan Cho, are leaving the firm, which consists of Icahn’s investment fund and other companies he controls, the WSJ said.

Icahn told the newspaper the pair of top executives were leaving on excellent terms. The decision was partly precipitated because neither planned to relocate to the Miami area, where Icahn Enterprises moved last year, he said.

In 2019, Icahn told staff he was shutting down offices in New York and opening up in early 2020 in Miami. Those who stayed with the company received moving expenses. Those who didn’t want to move to Florida got severance, Reuters and the New York Post reported.

Over the past year, a number of other powerful tech titans and Wall Street heavyweights have also made the move to Florida, drawn by lower taxes and other perks. Remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic also spurred some companies and powerful individuals to consider the move.

Icahn Enterprises did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment about Kekedjian.

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