Carl Icahn, Founder and Chairman of Icahn Enterprises, told Bloomberg TV that he left Donald Trump’s victory party early Wednesday morning to bet about $1 billion on U.S. equities.

“I thought it was absurd that the market, the S&P was down 100 points on Trump getting elected,” Icahn said in a phone interview. “I tried to put a lot more to work, but I couldn’t put more than about a billion dollars to work,” he said.

Carl Icahn
Image source: CNBC Video Screenshot

Icahn, one of Trump’s earliest supporters, spoke to Erik Schatzker this afternoon and weighed in on the market reaction to the U.S. presidential election results and the economic plans of President-Elect Trump. Icahn said Trump’s victory was “a positive for our economy, not a negative” but noted that the U.S. economy is not out of the woods just yet.

Icahn Left Trump Victory Party to Bet $1 Billion on U.S. Stocks

[drizzle]Additional headlines:

  • Icahn says businesses need to know govt is behind them
  • Icahn says lots government can do with some fiscal stimulus
  • Icahn says government should help business, not run anything
  • Icahn says if you do this right, don’t need much fiscal stimulus
  • Icahn says govt infrastructure stimulus will pay for itself
  • Icahn reiterates support for cos repatriating overseas cash
  • Icahn says `I’m for free trade, perhaps more than Donald’
  • Icahn says business needs to understand not at war with govt
  • Icahn : U.S. Govt is at war with business; Obamacare is absurd
  • Icahn says he took some hedges off last night
  • Icahn hopes perception now ‘ok let’s become energy independent’

Full transcript:

VONNIE QUINN, BLOOMBERG ANCHOR: Let’s go to Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker immediately now with Carl Icahn on the phone.

ERIK SCHATZKER, BLOOMBERG ANCHOR: Vonnie, thank you very much. Carl, great to have you here on Bloomberg Television. You were among Donald Trump’s earliest supporters in the financial community. You have been with him consistently through this campaign, through thick and thin, up and down. Help me, if you will, Carl, to put a voice to what we’re seeing in the stock market today. The Dow is up 185 points. What is it that investors see here that they didn’t in the middle of the night?

CARL ICAHN, CHAIRMAN, ICAHN ENTERPRISES (via telephone): Well, I really think in the middle of the night, it was tremendously overdone. I don’t generally trade, and at the risk of being immodest, but I feel good about it. I was at the Trump party, so to speak, about 11:30, quarter to 12, when I saw it, I saw that market fall apart, it made no damn sense, and I actually went home and I made a purchase, probably one of my best investments for — so I’m just saying it to you not to boast about it, but to make a point, that I do not think that Donald is going to be bad at all for the economy, at all for the market. I think that what happened is an extremely important event in the history of our economy. I’ve thought that since Trump started out, and I sort of, as you say, been with him, not that actively, but I certainly supported him.

I think the situation really is, in any economy, free enterprise system, you can’t have what we went through with Obama with eight years of gridlock, but more importantly, where the perception is that the government is at war with business. And that definitely was the perception. And that is, you know the pundits (inaudible) study, say, what’s going on, there’s no productivity, there’s no productivity — there’s no productivity because business is afraid to invest.

You need regulations, you need regulatory agencies, and in fact, I am a supporter of the Dodd-Frank and I do think you need Wall Street Regulations. But — and there are good regulatory agencies that have done good things. But there really a terrible perception out there — you take the EPA. With the EPA is really singlehandedly, for no reason, putting refineries out of business, for no reason at all. I mean, I’m not going to get into this whole riddance (ph) model, but the riddance (ph) model — the EPA agrees is no good, and yet they just keep doing it. It’s almost like the absolute rulers would do in the feudal system.

So therefore you have to have a perception that the government is with you in a huge, free enterprise market like we have. And Trump came along and said, hey, I’m going to change things. So it really isn’t that much a surprise that the middle class worker says, I listen to Trump say he’s going to make my lot better, he’s going to change things, he’s going to do something, and I’m listening to Hillary who’s basically the same old stuff. Look at Obamacare. Look at the mess that is. You can’t really have big government. Big government is good, I would say, to incentivize, but not to tell you how to run your business, but to incentivize and regulate to some extent. And that’s why I think this is so good for the market, not terrible.

SCHATZKER: You have been consistent, Carl, in saying that there needs to be a balance between regulation and incentivization. How should, and perhaps will, Donald Trump incentivize business to invest more, to buy more capital goods, to hire more people? Specifically how?

ICAHN (via telephone): OK, well I just started with number one. Number one, cut a lot of this regulation. Just cut it out. It’s run amuck, and really clean it up.

SCHATZKER: But beyond energy, are we talking about —

ICAHN (via telephone): Well, yes. Look, the good agencies, there’s need for them. I think the FTC has done some real good stuff, and actually, the Dodd-Frank thing, I think you have to regulate Wall Street. But let a businessman know that when he builds a factory, when he builds machinery, when he’s going to invest the money, that he’s got the government behind him as opposed to coming in with all these regulators — I mean, even the healthcare business. I mean, the regulations have gotten completely out of hand. And even in education. I was talking to the head of a large college the other day and he says, hey, every time I turn around to do anything, I got all these regulators coming in on me. That’s for education.

So you got to stop that. And I think that is a major point. Now what else can you do? And I think there are many things the government can do with some fiscal stimulus. Look at (inaudible) went through. Look at the Marshall plan. Look, everyone thought that, oh, after the war, we’re going to have a depression. It turned out the other way, because the government went in and didn’t run things. That’s the great mistake that you think, oh, we don’t want communism and socialism. I’m the last one to want that. But you don’t have that. We almost have a touch of that now here. The government shouldn’t be running anything. The government shouldn’t be going in and deciding, one business should go out of business, as the EPA does in

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