Leon Cooperman, chairman & CEO of Omega Advisors, says he is very alarmed at the direction President Obama is taking the country.
Let’s get the fast money halftime report back here. welcome to the kwf halftime report. there is a monster rally on wall street.take a look at the dow jones industrial. good for 416 points.nasdaq shooting high as well. and the s&p playing along aswell. today, materials and energy stocks leading the way asinvestors rally around coordinated central bank action. china cutting bank reserve requirements and a stronger thanexpected adp employment report. even financials rallying todayin the face of s&p’s rating cuts. we break down all the marketmoves with dennis gardman who’s here on the desk. yahoo gets it all. what’s the top tech analyst think about it? we’ll ask him straight ahead. and a new call on net flex with an analyst we went to to toe with a week ago. michael joining us live. plus the traders take their position on number 23 on our list of the top trades of 2011. there is, oosk, lack of trades today. but first the story that’s the talk of wall street and washington tofrmd billionaire leon cooperman’s open letter to president obama.calling him out for his policies in a tone which he called devicive and polarizing. mr. cooperman, thanks so much for being on the program today. thank you for having me. why did you feel the need to write this letter? i was moved to write to the letter because frankly i’m very alarmed at the direction in which he’s taking the country and his inflammatory dialogue. as my letter indicated i’ve kind of lived the american dream and i would like the to see others have a similar opportunity. i can’t believe theexceptualism, hard work, you know, very old-fashioned values.what pushed me over the fence to come out in a public way, which is not my style. this is the first open letter i’ve ever written, and i’m 68. i thought it post ed. to me it was destructive in whatwas done. when it finally came to the predictable agreement, the president, rather than being conciliatory and praising theplayers, what he did very specifically was attacked the wealthy people, the energy industry and the aviation industry. the last one i can’t for the life of me figure out. they create tremendous jobs in the country and most of those companies are unionized workers which is his constituency. a gentleman we admire greatly, warren buffett, calls it indispensab indispensable. so it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs. you know, this abstract attacking the wealthy people like they don’t pay taxes. you know, the federal income tax rate is 35%. most states are swaen between 5% and 10%. you have payroll tax, medicare taxes, medicaid taxes, inheritance taxes. i think we should all pay taxes but i think we should be more counssel tyer of bringing peopletogether rather than resorting to class warfare which is verydetrustive at a time when the country’s in a similar situation.sir. we’re showing a quote from the letter on our screen right now. i’d like to quote directly from it. while you say i cannot blaming you, speaking to mr. obama, of course, for the economic mess you inherited, what i can justifiably hold you accountable for is your and your minion’s role now roiling us.you would agree that there’s been destructive partnership onboth sides of washington, would you not? absolutely, unequivocally. i think it’s a shame. the guy that picked up on this very early, i give him credit, was evan bayh who resigned from the senate about two years aerks maybe longer. he wrote an editorial page comment in the new york times. he resigned from the senate because hi’ve never seen such an inalkt for both sides to get along and progress. he says they genuinely dislike each other. there are no mod rifts in washington. tla’re all extremists. the public is fed up with this. we want to move ahead, create jobs and move in a cooperative fashion. doll you think the president is anti-capitalism? if heisn’t, he certainlyportrays himself as an anti-capitalism. i hope not. i think he’s great american. i think he cares. i just think he’s focused in adifferent direction than the populous. and we’re probably unfortunately going to have to wait until november 2012 for the national referendum. 40% one way or the other is getting benefit of public assistance and the other 60% of the populous likes the way it used to be. this is a serious problem. it’s going to lead to great social unrest and i’m highly critical that everything being done is being done in the area of monetary policy and not in the area of fiscal policy. we have to start doing things on the fiscal side to create and generate employment.who are you supporting in the presidential election? well, you know, i would say i’m supported mitt romney. i think he’s most electable. i’m not a diehard republican. i oppose the issues but i want to head the country in a different direction than we’vebeen heading. let me quote another commenten from the let fehr i could. again, you do say you’re sympathetic to the people you’re hurting out there. you mentioned 50% and roughly 40% of the country on public as is stance. you also say if i end up paying more taxes as a result of all this, so be it. the alternatives are worse. you clearly don’t mind paying more. do you worry where the money goes? absolutely. spending versus raising that revenue and where that money is going? let me say this. it was a little bit tongue in cheek but three months ago i had a conference call with my investor. i told them i was considering retiring from omega to run f retiring from omega to run for president. let me make that clear. it was tongue in cheek. i’m not picking up any collections. i was amazed at the support. i think they wanted to get me out of omega. i told them what my presidential platform was. to understand where i was coming from, we had a time. we had a nine-point program. i’ll go through it very quickly. one was provide every returningsoldier with a three. four year college education or trade school education, their choice. they’re valiant young men and deserve the full support of the country. second, set up a peace timesavings into rebuilding the u.s. infrastructure. third, unleash the domestic energy to develop domestic energy supplies and reserves. this will create employment. thing this is shocking how we’ve allowed ourselves to be a prisoner. fourth it should be limited to a growth rate of 1% below the tloevl get us on a program tra jelktry of reduced government involving the economy. five, freeze entitlements. they work in hard labor in the minus, construction, they have the right to retire 5695.attempt a sur chars on those who owner over $500,000 per year. 7, controversial, but you cannot get enough money out of the wealthy people under the current tax system. i’m proposed a 5% fat tax to get at the underground economy. 8, tackle health care in a serious way. major issue for the country. and lastly, which the average person won’t. limit credit to trades of onlythose that are underlying bomds. they’re turned the best capitalmark into the casino and scaring the public is not in the public’s interest. i think it all revolves around the issue of the uptick rulewhich allowed for these activities. so i would plead with the s.e.c. to reinstate the uptick rule. let me — because you spokeabout the markets in your last comment here, let me get yourcomment on what’s happening in the market tofrmd we’re in themidst of a rally. i noticed. my oldest and closest friend passed away yesterday morning but i’m here for a funeral in florida, but basically i don’t want to say — sound too smart but basically we’re unpredictbling. i’ve made this comment before. this whole thing with europe, there were two schools of thought. the first was the problem is so complex and so serious and sodifficult to understand that it exceeds my band with. i appreciate that school of thought. the second was one the one i’m in, people with an average iq. whenever a problem was perreceived to be so significant that if it hit it would really be catastrophic in its impact, generally that problem doesn’t hit.and where i’ve said repeatedly for the last four or five months is essentially the ecb with the banking of germany, the backing of france, probably some help with the imf will coal lez around this and deal with the problem and the banks in europe will shed assets, will basically get assistance from the ecb where they’ll get loans off their books. all this in conjunction with time will help. hopefully the crisis will be averted. i think today not only do you have the coordinated actions on liquidity. you have china, which eased and then you had the adt. the fed is clearly on yourside. investors have derisked. china’s probably at the doorstepof easing and those are the positive factors. you’re painting a scenario, sir, in which the markets go higher in your view. that’s what i here. we’ve been too optimistic. i don’t think we’re off to the races but i keep saying to myself, it’s not been exactly the right view so far this year, but when i look at the world, the financial assets to me, those are cash, which is earning zero, unappealing. you’ve got to keep a certain amount for security and safety purposes. government bonds at 2% that have zur interest. the credit area which i call high yield. that ee been interesting again with the backup of interest rates in the b and bb quality arena, so i think they’re competitive the with stocks.then you look at the s&p 500. the s&p 500 is only around 12times earnings which is low really toiv the a historical multiple. i think stocks offer the best opportunity. understood. i know you do have to run. i want to ask you in my final question. you’re not afraid to make some contrarian plays in your portfolio. i noticed you picked up shares of research in motion. what did you see there? that has been the most interesting experience i’ve had. i took 0.7% and i put it in r.i.m., okay? i got so many calls you thought i was taking control of the country. i think including me.okay. i have much ducks you know, a big position for us at 3 or 4 or 5%. we think the new operating system is constructive. they have over 70 mihm onusers and our view is four and a halftimes the earnings, there’s inlek lengthual. we took a speculative position. it’s a small pochlgts hopefully we’ll develop that conviction. i think they’re coming out with the results in mid-december and we’re optimistic they’ve seen the worse. it’s not a major position and we know nothing more than anyone else knows. it’s just an opinion. lee, it’s great to have you today. i know you had obviously more pressing things to deal with, so we’re grateful you spent a few minutes with us. we all want to see the country do well and support the president.under. we’ll talk to you soon. leon cooperman of omegaadvisers. comments, dennis? first of all, what an honor to have cooperman in front of me. what an amazing guy. i think he’s done the right thing. how about the markets, what he had to say about the markets. do you agree with what he painted as a scenario? i think all of a sudden the psychology changed this morning. first thing you know about monetary policy, when you ease the first time, you ease again and ease again and ease again. that was a big change.
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