IBM CEO says inflation fears could trigger ‘some chaos’

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  • “With all the liquidity, and the fear of inflation raising its head, that could lead to some chaos,” Krishna told Businesshala, explaining what keeps him up at night.
  • The tech giant’s leader said the disruption may not appear for some time.
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has previously said he expects inflationary conditions to remain “well over the next year” and acknowledged it is “disappointing” that supply chain issues are showing no signs of improving.

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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has told Businesshala he is “always concerned” about inflation and warned of possible disruption ahead.

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“With all the liquidity, and fears of inflation raising its head, that could create some chaos,” Krishna told Businesshala on Monday.

The tech giant’s leader said the disruption may not appear for some time.

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“I’m always worried about [inflation]But I’m not sure it will have an impact on business in 2022,” Krishna told Businesshala’s Dan Murphy at the ADIPEC Energy Industry Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has previously said he expects inflationary conditions to remain “well over the next year” and acknowledged it is “disappointing” that supply chain issues are showing no signs of improving. However, the Fed has insisted that rising prices are largely linked to the coronavirus pandemic and that supply chain problems will end.

The US consumer price index, which includes products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rent, rose 0.9% on a monthly basis in October, the Labor Department reported on November 10, well above expectations. The reading climbed 6.2% year over year, reaching its highest point since December 1990.

concerns about covid

Krishna also said that there could be an economic slowdown if a new Covid variant takes hold.

“We still have an epidemic upon us,” he said. “If a new version comes out, even worse than Delta, it will bother me because I think it will cause a temporary, not permanent, slowdown.”

Krishna said that the COVID protocols and vaccines are reducing the impact of the virus.

–Additional reporting by Businesshala’s Sam Meredith.

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