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Bill Ackman says more immigration could help the Fed crush inflation without causing a recession - and touts Russia as a labor source

Submitted by Tech Insider on September 23, 2022 - 8:03am

Bill Ackman
Bill Ackman.

  • Bill Ackman proposed more immigration as a partial solution to stubborn US inflation.
  • The Pershing Square chief suggested targeting Russians, hurting Vladimir Putin's war efforts.
  • Ackman said immigration could help the Fed to avoid tanking the job market and the economy.

Boosting immigration could be part of the solution to the Federal Reserve's problem as it tries to conquer stubborn inflation, Bill Ackman argued in a Twitter thread on Friday.

The US central bank faces the daunting task of cooling US inflation without driving a spike in unemployment, a crash in asset prices, or a slump in the economy.

"Doesn't it make more sense to moderate wage inflation with increased immigration than by raising rates, destroying demand, putting people out of work, and causing a recession?" the billionaire investor and Pershing Square boss asked.

The US could open its borders to Russians fleeing the national draft, Ackman said. That would undermine the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine and bolster America's pool of skilled workers, he said.

"Let's remove the barriers for Russia's brightest," he tweeted on Thursday night. "The most talented Russians must leave now before they become fodder in an unjust war. Doing so saves our economy and destroys Russia's future."

US inflation surged to a 40-year high of 9.1% in June, and remained above 8% in August. The Fed has responded by hiking its benchmark interest rate from near zero to between 3% and 3.25% this year, and penciling in rates as high as 4.6% next year.

In his thread, Ackman noted that policymakers usually tackle inflation by reducing demand or increasing supply in the system. However, he said wage inflation won't slow down until interest rates hit high levels that are painful for financial markets and the economy.

Given that, the hedge fund manager said the US should invite more Russians and other foreign nationals into the country, which would bolster the domestic labor supply and ease the upward pressure on wages.

Yet he didn't grapple with the question of whether an enlarged workforce would fuel aggregate demand and therefore inflation.

Ackman has been largely supportive of Fed rate hikes this year. Earlier in September, he predicted the central bank's efforts would result in inflation halving to around 4% over the next year.

In May, he said inflation and inflation expectations were out of control, and warned that only aggressive Fed action or the stock market and economy crashing would solve the problem.

Read more: A 35-year market veteran shares how he perfected a strategy to hedge against higher interest rates as the Federal Reserve works to stop inflation

Read the original article on Business Insider