Carl Icahn told CNBC on Tuesday there could be a recession "or worse" in America ahead. Here's how he's positioning for it. The billionaire investor told CNBC's "Closing Bell: Overtime" that he continues to bet against malls, a position he's held since before the pandemic began as he bet on owners failing to pay or service their debt. "We have a very large position on shorting the malls through the CMBX, through a derivative," Icahn said. "And that whole market is a huge market ... the market itself I think is manipulated to some extent and you're going to be hearing from us in that area." The CMBX index tracks the health of the commercial real estate market through its holdings of commercial mortgage-backed securities. Sophisticated investors like Icahn can buy and short derivatives tied to the index. The pandemic accelerated the decline of the already struggling retail sector that lost sales to online convenience even before lockdowns and mandatory closures. Icahn is holding this position even as an economic recovery in the sector ramps up with the easing of the pandemic. Broader areas of the commercial real estate market could be at risk as well, Icahn suggested. "You can't ignore the fact, and I don't know if this is a change that will continue, but you don't have people going to offices all the time anymore, obviously," he said. Shares of big mall owners are in the red this year. Simon Property Group is off by 17% so far in 2022.
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Carl Icahn told CNBC on Tuesday there could be a recession "or worse" in America ahead. Here's how he's positioning for it.