Jeff Bezos has been very discreet in recent weeks.
Aside from a tweet about his family’s huge donation — about $711 million — to the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the billionaire hasn’t spoken much.
Nonetheless, he had an opportunity to speak. For example, his presence in the stands alongside National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell during a Thursday night game in mid-September sparked much conversation on social media.
The game was the first to air exclusively on Amazon Prime, marking the group’s entry into America’s favorite sport for the group Bezos founded. The partnership with the NFL is the latest example of how Amazon (AMZN) continues to spread into all areas of daily life.
Amazon had acquired the exclusive streaming rights to Thursday Night Football in 2021, a deal that reportedly cost the company $1.3 billion.
Bezos is the second richest person in the world after Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Another opportunity for comment came when his net worth was exceeded by other executives on the chart. But he reclaimed second place.
Bezos: “Close the hatches”
The businessman has just broken his silence with a health-economy warning that will add to fears a recession is inevitable.
Because of its central position in e-commerce, Amazon is one of the most reliable barometers for the health of public consumption, which in turn is a major driver of American economic growth.
“Yes, the odds in this economy are telling you to shut the hatches,” Bezos tweeted Oct. 18.
In other words, he says people need to prepare for a crisis that seems to be on the horizon.
Commentary on Solomon, CEO of Goldman
The billionaire commented on a short video interview with David Solomon, CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS) , on CNBC, which aired the same day. In the clip, Solomon says there’s a big chance the economy will enter a recession.
“I think it’s time to be careful,” Solomon said. “And I think if you’re running a risk-based business, it’s time to start thinking more carefully about your risk box and your risk appetite. I think you have to expect more volatility on the horizon.”
The banker added: “It doesn’t necessarily mean that we have a really difficult economic scenario, but looking at the distribution of the results, there is a good chance that we could have a recession.”
The health of the economy is a concern for markets, households and politicians alike right now, with the US midterm elections just weeks away.
Many economists blame the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy as one of the causes of the current downturn. The central bank raised interest rates slowly at first, causing the prices of goods and products to rise, they say.
When the Fed subsequently pivoted on raising rates, it did so aggressively to dampen inflation, which is now at a 40-year high. The problem, which the same economists have warned about, is that these efforts will cause what is known as a hard landing in the economy, a recession.
Alongside Solomon, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, (JPM) said Oct. 10 that the economy would enter a recession “in six to nine months.”
More than two-thirds (69%) of Americans worry about the possibility of a recession by the end of 2023, according to a July poll by personal finance website Bankrate.com.