Lots of 'ticking time bombs' out there: Sternlicht

Sternlicht: Healthy for market to shake

Closely followed investor Barry Sternlicht told CNBC on Friday that he really hopes the stock market's current run has at least two more years left.

"I hope we're ... in 2005, with a couple of years," said the Starwood Capital Group chairman and CEO, handicapping whether another financial crisis may be brewing and whether Thursday's stock plunge could be the start of the long-awaited correction.

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"[But] there are more obvious light switches today or ticking time bombs" compared with the lead-up to the 2008 downfall, Sternlicht warned in a "Squawk Box" interview from the Nantucket Project conference off the coast of Massachusetts. "The whole macro global situation is not good. And it affects how we think about the world."

He used New York City real estate as an example of whether investors should be concerned about the threat of terrorism. "Should you have a blanket buy on New York City? What's your shot in your investment horizon that, God forbid, something happens."

"We love New York. We're invested in New York. But do you want to have all your eggs in New York City real estate right now?" he asked rhetorically. "It's not something you thought maybe two years ago."

US economy fine, not great: Sternlicht

Despite his concerns, Sternlicht said right now, "The economy is fine. I don't think it's great. It's probably at this 1.5 percent, 2 percent growth that's kind of nirvana for investors." When the Federal Reserve starts to increase interest rates, he believes it will be gently.

Meanwhile, Bob Diamond, former CEO of Barclays, said he doesn't think Thursday's sharp selloff signals a larger decline down the road. "There's still inexpensive money. I think oil prices are at a reasonable level. Gold is at a reasonable level. I don't see a big crash coming," he told CNBC on Friday from Nantucket.

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