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Bill Ackman says his CNBC interview was bullish, denies harming market

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Pershing Square Capital manager Bill Ackman defended his emotional CNBC appearance last week after his fund announced a few days later that it made over $2 billion on bets against the markets. The investor warned that “hell is coming” and that hotel stocks could go to zero in the interview.

“Shortly after the show, I heard that some had interpreted my remarks as being very bearish on the market,” Ackman told investors on Thursday. “The idea that my appearance pushed the market down an additional 4% that day is absurd.”

“Yes, I got somewhat emotional as I talked about protecting my immune-compromised father from the ravages of the virus. But, I had become bullish because of my belief that the entire country would soon go into lockdown, and that would be the fastest and best way to minimize the impact of the virus,” he added.

The billionaire investor had urged President Donald Trump on March 18 to seal off the U.S. from the rest of the world “for the next 30 days” to protect the American population from further coronavirus destruction before joining CNBC’s Scott Wapner later that day.

At that time, Ackman warned that hotel-operator Hilton Worldwide was “going to zero … along with every other hotel company in the world,” said that America could “end as we know it” and cautioned U.S. companies to stop their stock buyback programs because “hell is coming.”

The impassioned interview sparked controversy, however, as other investors argued that Pershing would profit from further…



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