Elon Musk warns that recession is 'inevitable,' likely coming soon

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Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk says a recession is "inevitable" in the long term and one is likely to hit the U.S. "soon."

Musk made the prediction Tuesday, echoing statements he made on Twitter indicating that an economic "rude awakening" is inbound. 

"A recession is inevitable at some point. As to whether there is a recession in the near term, that is more likely than not," Musk told Bloomberg in an interview.

"It is not a certainty, but it appears more likely than not," he continued.

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Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., arrives at the Axel Springer Award ceremony in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020.  (Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has sought to downplay the likelihood of a recession, insisting to reporters during his weekend vacation in Delaware that it is not "inevitable."

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"Economists are saying that a recession is more likely than ever," a reporter can be heard saying to Biden on a beach.

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"Now you sound like a Republican politician, I'm joking, that was a joke, that was a joke," Biden responded. "But all kidding aside, no I don't think it is. I was talking to Larry Summers this morning, there's nothing inevitable about a recession."

Summers is among many economists who have stated that a near-term recession is more likely than not.

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Summers also stated on Monday that the U.S. jobless rate must spike to above 5% and stay there if Americans are to see any relief from inflation.

"We need five years of unemployment above 5% to contain inflation — in other words, we need two years of 7.5% unemployment or five years of 6% unemployment or one year of 10% unemployment," Summers said in a London speech on Monday. "There are numbers that are remarkably discouraging relative to the Fed Reserve view."

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