This morning, July 22, 2020, Bill Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, went after CNBC on-air for creating a narrative that never existed. During the Squawk Box episode, Ackman accused CNBC of not telling the truth in a March 2020 28-minute interview and only carving out a 15 second clip which was repeated extensively, creating a false-narrative of Ackman’s message.
Ackman said during this morning’s interview, “I really blame CNBC. It took 15 seconds of my interview and ran about scaring people because it was good television. And I hate to be in your face with this, but that is exactly what happened.”
During the March 2020 CNBC interview, Ackman says he gave a “very bullish message” and that he was “buying stocks which I was doing the very same day and I tweeted the same thing, and you guys kept playing the ‘Hell’s coming’ piece.”
Squawk Box co-host, Joe Kernan challenged Ackman saying, “Today we have more [COVID-19] cases per day than when you said that ‘Hell was coming’ and I think you said there was a much less likelihood that Texas, a lot of these hotspots are not probably not going to do anywhere close to what you needed to be done last time, so why isn’t Hell coming this time considering the virus is probably as prevalent as it was then [during March 2020 interview].” To which Ackerman responded, “I said if we do nothing and we have 18 months of the virus running roughshod across the country, hell is coming. If we take aggressive action, we can end this quickly.”
Ackman said this morning that he is bullish on American businesses and the country but is cautious with the markets in the short-term. He is bearish on companies which are highly leveraged as they will struggle until the country reopens fully.