Interactive Brokers’ Founder Says S&P 500 Could Fall 16% Before Bottom

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(Bloomberg) — US stocks haven’t fallen enough to account for the elevated inflation pressures that will drive the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates high for a sustained period of time, says billionaire investor Thomas Peterffy.

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The founder and chairman of Interactive Brokers Group Inc. told Bloomberg Television Wednesday that the S&P 500 won’t hit a bottom until it trades to levels between 3300 and 3500. After it reaches that bottom, which represents a slide of as much as 16% from Wednesday’s levels, it will stay there for “a while” until the US contends with an inflation-fueled economy.

“I’ve been bearish for quite some time now, and I do not think equities have bottomed because I do not think that inflation is over,” he told Bloomberg’s Alix Steel and Guy Johnson. “We have these deep issues of de-globalization, ESG, lack of skilled labor and continuing deficit spending and increasing debt service costs. So they all contribute to inflation.”

Asked by Bloomberg’s Guy Johnson whether the Federal Reserve is capable of getting inflation back down to its 2% target within the next few years, Peterffy said: “No, that’s not going to happen. They would have to cause a very, very serious depression to do that, and they will not do that.”

The Fed’s quantitative tightening policy will also add to market volatility in the near-term, he said. To prepare for upcoming volatility, his hedge-fund customers are holding record levels of cash reserves, he added.

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