Bill Ackman still sees a massive economic boom despite the delta variant, says rates to rebound
Bill Ackman, Founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said Monday that the proliferation of the Delta variant would not pose a significant threat to the economic reopening, and he sees interest rates rising on the big comeback.
“I hope it motivates anyone who doesn’t get the vaccine to get the vaccine. I don’t think it will change behavior much, ”Ackman said in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box. “You will experience a massive, in my opinion, economic boom … We will have an extremely strong economy in the fall.”
The delta variant causes flare-ups in unvaccinated parts of the country and, as cases rise, leads to an increase in hospital admissions. Ackman, the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, said the variant was less fatal than other strains and the US could achieve herd immunity faster if more people recover from the infections.
The hedge fund manager expects bond yields to trend significantly higher in the second half of 2021 as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic-induced recession.
“I think rates will go up. Short rates will go up a lot faster than people think, in my opinion,” Ackman said. “By the turn of the year … I think we will have significantly higher returns when people realize that the economy will recover strongly.”
Ackman said Monday’s decline in government bond yields offered investors a buying opportunity. The 10-year key rate fell 7 basis points to 1.22% and hit a new five-month low.
“Today’s move … I’d borrow as much long-term fixed income as possible based on today’s rates,” Ackman said.
The hedge fund manager relies heavily on recovery in the hospitality, retail and hotel industries. His top positions at the end of the first quarter included Lowe’s, Hilton, Restaurant Brands and Chipotle. He recently acquired the shares of Domino’s Pizza after a withdrawal.
In mid-March, at the height of the Covid-19 crisis, Ackman came to CNBC to warn investors about “hell” and to ask the White House to close the country for a month.
Days after the interview, Ackman announced that his company ended its short positions on March 23, when the S&P 500 bottomed out and pocketed more than $ 2 billion in bets against the markets in March.
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