How could anyone forget Bill Ackman’s famous proclamation that ‘hell is coming’ live on CNBC during the early months of the Covid pandemic?
While Ackman took to live television and helped move markets lower, he was also somewhere in the process of cashing out a massive, multi-billion dollar hedge on the market crashing. Ackman’s speech nearly marked the bottom for markets in 2020.
Now, Ackman appears to be having the same type of meltdown about Ukraine – only this time, on Twitter. And whether or not these speeches are in his best interest or genuine suggestions for the betterment of mankind remain to be seen.
Regardless of motivation, the hedge fund manager took to Twitter this weekend to pontificate about the potential long-lasting effects on the Russia/Ukraine situation that’s unfolding. Likening it to Covid, Ackman wrote: “In January 2020, I had nightmares about the potential for a pandemic, but everyone seemed to think I was crazy. I am having similar nightmares now. WWIII has likely started already, but we have been slow to recognize it.”
He continued: “Putin has invaded Ukraine and it is not going well. The Ukrainians have put up a remarkable resistance. NATO refuses to enter the war, but NATO members and most of the rest of the world have launched an economic war, and are supplying Stingers, anti-tank weapons, other munitions, intelligence, and funding. Putin today declared these actions acts of war against Russia. Yet, there is much more we can do before we enter a hot war with Russia. We could stop the absurdity of buying oil from Russia and funding the war. Europe could follow suit once demand for gas declines in the Spring.”
Ackman then suggested offering aid to Ukraine: “We could supply Ukraine with our best weaponry and more of it. We could give them access to intelligence which would enable them to better target the enemy. We could give them better drones and the training to operate them. We don’t need to put troops on the ground because the Ukrainians with the right weapons and resources have proven that they have what it takes to win the war, unless and until Putin goes nuclear. Our reason for not doing more appears to be our fear of provoking Putin.”
He then offered his geopolitical take on the nuclear threat potentially posed by Russia: “Because Russia is a nuclear power and Putin is a madman, we say we can’t intervene in the Ukraine. What then do we do when he wants more? The nuclear threat is no different when he takes his next country, whether it s part of NATO or not, and by then we are strategically worse off. He has made his ambitions publicly known. Many of us make the mistake of pushing painful confrontations out into the future even while knowing that the costs will inevitably escalate.”
“We let Putin occupy Georgia and Crimea with little pushback,” Ackman continued. “And his aspirations only got larger because we did nothing to stop him. Are we now going to let him take the Ukraine? We are in the early innings of Putin’s global aspirations. With each “victory,” he is emboldened to take more.”
Ackman writes that Putin is “testing us” and that we are “failing the test each time”. The billionaire hedge fund manager then says the time for holding back “has ended”.
“The time for holding back sanctions and armaments has ended. The more painful this is for Putin and the Russian people, the less willing he will be to try this again. If these efforts fail, and we will know very soon, we need to reconsider a no-fly zone and further NATO military intervention. Because of the Ukrainians capable military, we fortunately don’t need to send troops to help them succeed.”
Ackman says the only way he sees the conflict ending is China brokering a ceasefire. He also says that he thinks China gave Russia “the nod” to attack.
“It appears that China gave Putin the nod to attack Ukraine. Putin respects and likely fears China. China can elevate itself on the world stage by helping to resolve this crisis. Time is running short before many more 18-month old children die.”
Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission