Citadel founder Ken Griffin said the world is facing unrest and structural changes that are pushing it toward de-globalization and causing higher baseline inflation that may last “for decades.”
“The peace dividend is clearly at the end of the road,” Griffin said at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum on Thursday in Singapore, referencing the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars. “We are likely to see higher real rates and we’re likely to see higher nominal rates.”
The billionaire said that will have implications on the cost of funding the US deficit, saying the government hadn’t counted on higher rates “when we went on the spending spree that created a $33 trillion deficit.”
Griffin added that US fiscal spending needs to be put in order, as the country is “spending on the government level like a drunken sailor.”
He warned the current fiscal deficit is unsustainable. Even though the country’s job market remains relatively strong, US consumers realize deep down that “something is not quite right,” he said.
The Federal Reserve can continue printing money to avoid a default, but “the economic consequences would be devastating,” he said. “The minute we start to print dollars just to deal with the possibility of a default, our economy’s going into a deep tailspin.”
Griffin said the war in Ukraine means Europe is struggling to deal with how it maintains its economy, having lost its cheap source of energy.
“There’s many trends at play right now that are pushing us toward de-globalization,” he said.
The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.