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Key Words: Billionaire private-equity firm chief Lasry says he’s waiting for people to get nervous

Marc Lasry, the co-founder, chairman and chief executive of private-equity firm and hedge-fund investor Avenue Capital, has seen plenty of success in the sports world, as the Milwaukee Bucks he co-owns are the defending National Basketball Association champions, and have the second-best odds to repeat. But while he has reason to be optimistic about hoops, he says he’s more downbeat on financial markets.

Talking to Liz Claman on Fox Business Network, Lasry gave a pretty bleak investing outlook.

“Interest rates are going up. You’re going to have — the question is whether GDP remains up a little bit or if it’s going to be flat. With everything that’s going on in Ukraine, with higher food prices, with higher oil prices, there’s just going to be a lot more issues,” he said. “And when there’s a lot more issues, that’s not great for the economy and it’s not great for the stock market.” He said it’s going to be difficult for the next six months.

The S&P 500

has already dropped 7% this year, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite

has lost 14%.

Lasry said his firm is looking to provide capital — at a price. “We’re waiting for people to get nervous. We’re waiting for people to need liquidity. And when they need that, we will provide that liquidity. But, obviously, we will charge quite a price for that liquidity,” he said. Right now he said the firm is investing in start-ups that need capital, but at the senior secured level.

The decline in the tech sector in particular has opened up opportunities, Lasry says. “I think now, with that new repricing, you’re going to see even more opportunities that are there, simply because capital isn’t that easy,” he said.

The one place he is not willing to invest is Russia. “I don’t want to sort of make geopolitical bets. That’s not what we do. And I think that’s what people are going to be doing if you’re doing that,” he said. “I think you’re taking a lot of risk by doing it, but, if it works, you could get paid quite a bit. I just think that’s going to be a binary bet. And if it works, you’re — you will do exceptionally well. But if it doesn’t work, I mean, you’re going to lose all your money.”

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