Delivering Alpha

Carl Icahn: Herbalife would be 'better off private'

Icahn: Still tremendous risks in the market

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn repeated his warnings about market dangers, saying there are problems regardless of whether the Fed raises rates.

"You look at the environment, and I think it's very dangerous. You're walking on a ledge and you might make it to the end, but you fall of that ledge and you're really going to see trouble," he said Tuesday at the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.

As the rest of the market wonders whether the U.S. central bank will enact a rate hike this year, Icahn insisted, "I don't think it matters, because either way there's a problem."

"If they don't raise rates, I think we're in a major bubble," he added.

Icahn drew a line between the stock market, which is performing well, and the economy, where growth continues to be below trend.

As for this own market exploits, Icahn disclosed that he now is seeking permission from his company to acquire up to 50 percent of Herbalife shares. He currently has permission to acquire 35 percent.

Icahn: I believe Herbalife makes good products

Icahn and fellow hedge funder Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital, have been in a very public battle over the nutritional supplement maker.

Ackman is betting against Herbalife with a major short position.

"I think Ackman's smart, but I think in this case it's absurd to have a major short position," Icahn said.