Carl Icahn rejects Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary offer

Carl Icahn in 82 Seconds
Carl Icahn in 82 Seconds

Billionaire Carl Icahn has a message for Donald Trump: "No thanks."

Trump, who kicked off his 2016 presidential bid this week, thinks the U.S. economy need fixing. He says he's the man for the job, especially if he had a Treasury Secretary like hedge fund manager Carl Icahn by his side.

"I'd love to bring my friend Carl Icahn," Trump said Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Trump also mentioned private equity titan Henry Kravis and former GE (GE) CEO Jack Welch as top Treasury Secretary candidates.

Unfortunately for Trump, it only took 24 hours for Icahn to say no. In a blog post Friday morning, Icahn expressed his surprise at Trump's comments and politely declined before Trump could say "You're fired!"

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Icahn likes his sleep: "I was extremely surprised to learn that Donald was running for president and even more surprised that he stated he would make me Secretary of Treasury," wrote Icahn.

Reason No.1 why Icahn is unfit for the Treasury: he doesn't wake up early enough. Icahn, 79, would rather kick it in the mornings than do the Washington D.C. grind every day.

"I am flattered but do not get up early enough in the morning to accept this opportunity," Icahn said.

But there is one thing Icahn agrees fully with Trump on: there's a "a big fat bubble coming up" in the market. Icahn says that years of near zero interest rates from the Federal Reserve have inflated asset prices.

"I personally believe we are sailing in dangerous unchartered waters. I can only hope we get to shore safely," Icahn said, praising Trump for speaking out about the issue on the campaign trail.

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Trump on the economy: In addition to warning of a market bubble, Trump made a number of startling comments about the economy this week. Although the Labor Department says the unemployment rate is currently 5.5%, Trump believes it's actually 20%. His campaign has yet to release math to back up that discrepancy.

He also said that U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, was negative in the first quarter this year for the first time ever. Actually, America's GDP contracted in the first quarter of 2014 too. It was also negative during that whole of the Great Recession when the economy went south. Oops.

Although Trump and President Obama both agree on the importance of free trade agreements, that's the only common ground they have on the issue.

Obama has been a big proponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade deal. Trump believes America's negotiators, including Obama, in the trade deals are "stupid and incompetent."

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