A worker vacuums a staircase inside the Kongress Zentrum, or Congress Center, on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 45th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 21-24. Close
Billionaire Jeff Greene, who amassed a multibillion dollar fortune betting against subprime mortgage securities, says the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and radical politics.
“America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”
The 60-year-old founder of Coral Gables, Florida-based Florida Sunshine Investments said his biggest fund was up more than 20 percent last year with bets on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG), bank stocks and mortgage-backed securities.
“I’m remarkably long for my level of pessimism,” he said. “Our economy is in deep trouble. We need to be honest with ourselves. We’ve had a realistic level of job destruction, and those jobs aren’t coming back.”
Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he’s planning a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Tideline Hotel called “Closing the Gap.” The event, which he said is scheduled for December, will feature speakers such as economist Nouriel Roubini.
“I live in Palm Beach, where no one wants to hear bad news,” he said. “We need to have an event where people aren’t just focused on predicting the price of oil.”
Greene says he has no investors or partners and manages about $2 billion in financial investments, more than $750 million in real estate and at least $1.5 billion in assorted property development projects.
The billionaire said he’s planning on having dinner tonight with former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and will attend several private meals and parties throughout the week.
To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew G. Miller in Davos at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Newcomb at firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew Heathcote
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