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I don't see prosperity in the world, says billionaire businessman Ken Langone

Langone: US economy is at best 'tepid'

Billionaire Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, Tuesday on CNBC described the U.S. economy as "at best, tepid."

"I don't know what the hell people are saying about prosperity in the world. I don't see it," he told "Squawk Box" in an interview. "I don't care what any of these geniuses say, [the economy] is not strong."

The American economy and economies around the world are not strong, he contended, saying central banks don't have much ammunition "left in the magazine" to boost growth.

"There's nothing more we can do with interest rates," he said, predicting the Federal Reserve will hike rates at its December meeting to provide dry powder to cut if the economy were to really take a nosedive.

Another byproduct of prolonged low rates, "[retirees] are being forced to now eat into their principle[s] because the returns on money they've put aside are going down."

Langone, a longtime Republican, said politics should be set aside to tackle the nation's problems, including rising health-care costs. "As long as we're screaming at each other ... we're not going to address the problems."

Making his case, Langone cited government estimates that Obamacare prices for next year are set to soar.

The average monthly enrollment payment for a closely watched type of insurance plan sold on the federal marketplace is seen rising by an average 25 percent in the 39 states served by the exchange in 2017, officials said Monday.

"This does not have a happy ending," Langone warned.

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