Citadel's Ken Griffin Tells Qatar Audience: American Campus Chaos Is "Anarchy"

On day one of the 2024 Qatar Economic Forum in Doha, Citadel's Ken Griffin covered a wide range of hot-button issues. He criticized the Biden administration's latest wave of Chinese tariffs, the ongoing campus crisis terrorizing American colleges and universities, global geopolitical tensions, and former President Trump's potential comeback. 

Griffin started the conversation by discussing soaring geopolitical risks from Eastern Europe to the Middle East to China. He warned, "We are living in a different world than what we fantasized just a few years ago."

"There are more tail risks that are harder to manage. That goes with this rise in geopolitical complexity," Griffin said. As we must note, the surge in conflicts is a direct symptom of a world fracturing into a multi-polar state. 

Bloomberg provided a live blog of the event via the 'Top Live Blogs' function on the Terminal. BBG journos noted that Griffin criticized the Biden administration for new tariffs, announced Tuesday, but well telegraphed for the last several days, on Chinese electric vehicles, advanced batteries, solar cells, steel, aluminum and medical equipment. He called the move a continuation of 'incoherent economic policy,' adding a Trump administration would restore America's image abroad. 

On the subject of the continued education crisis at American universities and colleges, of shady non-governmental organizations facilitating pro-Palestinian protests, he said:

"What's happening on campuses is not free speech, it's anarchy."

He added:

"Universities should be trying to encourage a constructive debate between students of different backgrounds."

Separately, in a Financial Times interview on Saturday, Griffin, who is one of Harvard's most prominent donors, said the Ivy League school needs to embrace "Western values" and pointed out the chaos is a byproduct of a "cultural revolution."

Back in Doha, Griffin also commented on the geopolitical shitstorm in Eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine, the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, and worsening Sino-US relations. 

"There are just larger tails that didn't exist seven or eight or 10 years ago," he said, adding that the only way to mitigate risk is to construct portfolios with protection, capitalizing off tail risk events. 

The billionaire, who founded the $63 billion hedge fund Citadel, then commented on Trump's potential return to the White House, calling him a person who can't be pushed. 

"He will exude a level of strength that will help stabilize the world in these trying times," the billionaire said. Bloomberg pointed out that he had yet to donate to the presidential campaign. 

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Watch here for the whole discussion: 

via May 14th 2024