Amazon founder and former chief executive Jeff Bezos has given some advice to consumers and small businesses about what they should do given that the U.S. economy is either already in a recession or is headed into one “very soon.” The billionaire said: “The economy does not look great right now. Things are slowing down. You’re seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy.”
Jeff Bezos on U.S. Economy and How People Should Prepare for a Recession
Jeff Bezos, founder and former CEO of retail giant Amazon, shared his view about the U.S. economy heading into a recession and what consumers and small businesses should do in an interview with CNN last week.
Responding to a question about whether the U.S. is in a recession and what his advice would be for small businesses, the billionaire, who currently serves as Amazon’s executive chair, cautioned:
The economy does not look great right now. Things are slowing down. You’re seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy.
While admitting that he does not know “whether we are technically in a recession,” citing that economists have argued over that topic, he emphasized: “The probabilities say if we are not in a recession right now, we are likely to be in one very soon.”
“My advice to people,” including small business owners, is “take some risks off the table,” Bezos said, adding:
If you were going to make a purchase, maybe slow down that purchase a little bit. Keep some dry powder on hand, wait a bit, and see. Try to reduce some risk in your business or your life.
“If you are an individual and you’re thinking of buying a large screen TV, maybe slow that down, keep that cash, and see what happens. Same thing with a refrigerator or a new car, whatever, just take some risk off the table,” Bezos advised.
“If you are a small business, maybe delay some capital purchases … have some cash on hand. Just a little bit of risk reduction can make a difference for that small business if we do get into even more serious economic problems. You’ve got to play probabilities a little bit,” the Amazon executive chair suggested.
Bezos was also asked about how long he thinks this recession could last. “I don’t think even the most experienced economist in the world could answer that question,” he responded, elaborating:
You just have to try and be reasonable about it, take as much risk off the table as you can …. hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
In October, Bezos commented on Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon stating that there is a good chance of a recession. The Amazon executive tweeted at the time: “Yep, the probabilities in this economy tell you to batten down the hatches.”
A recent survey shows that 98% of chief executives are preparing for a U.S. recession. Some people are expecting a severe recession, such as renowned investor Jim Rogers who believes that it will be the worst recession in his lifetime. Economist Peter Schiff warned that the Federal Reserve’s action could lead to market crashes, a massive financial crisis, and a severe recession. However, the White House is not preparing for a recession. President Joe Biden recently claimed that the U.S. economy is “strong as hell.”