- Leon Cooperman doesn’t expect a market crash, or recession for another year at least.
- The billionaire investor sounded the inflation alarm and cautioned against betting on bitcoin.
- Cooperman called out Robinhood users for boosting meme stocks to heady valuations.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Cooperman, who converted his Omega Advisors hedge fund into a family office in 2018, also rang the inflation alarm, questioned the hype around meme stocks, and bemoaned the tiny yields from bonds and saving accounts.
Here are Cooperman’s 14 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
1. “Big declines come about because of recession. We’re coming out of a recession, we’re not going into one anytime soon. That’s at least a year away, maybe longer.” – Cooperman listed higher inflation, a falling dollar, and the Fed reducing, or eliminating its economic support as likely catalysts for the next downturn.
2. “The Fed is wrong on inflation. This idea that inflation is transitory is a pipe dream. 65% of business costs are labor. You know anybody working for less money in this environment?”
3. “The Fed has been the handmaiden to this administration. We’re running enormous fiscal deficits and the Fed has been funding it.”
4. “The market structure is broken. There’s no stabilizing forces in the market now, it’s all run by machines. When there’s a real reason for the market to go down, it’ll go down so quickly your head’s gonna spin.”
5. “If you don’t understand bitcoin, it means you’re old. I’m 78, I’m old, I don’t understand it. One thing I do know is it’s not in the interest of the US government to further a substitute for the US dollar.”
6. “I’d be very careful with bitcoin. I don’t think it makes a great deal of sense. If you’re nervous about the world, gold would be a better store of value than bitcoin.”
7. “Most companies are not overvalued against interest rates today. Some things are overpriced, are crazy – I call that the Robinhood market. I hope they know what they’re doing, but I doubt it.”
8. “Negative interest rates are ridiculous. There’s a bunch of academicians running monetary policy around the world. Bonds are totally mispriced. The idea of buying 10-year German bonds and getting less back in 10 years than you invest today – I really don’t get it at all.”
9. “There’s gotta be a return from investing in fixed income. The government’s gotta sell a lot of bonds. What schnook is gonna buy a bond today?”
10. “I’m listening to Fed-speak, I’m looking at inflation, market action, gold, bitcoin, the dollar exchange rate, and interest rates overall. I’m watching a lot of things for a signal to change.” – outlining what he’s monitoring to determine when it’s time to get out of the market.
11. “I’m a perennial optimist. I kind of agree with Warren Buffett. People don’t get rich being short America.”
12. “I don’t like the attack on the wealthy. I’m giving all my money away so I couldn’t care less, but I’m a capitalist with a heart. This constant attacking of wealthy people is very disturbing to me.”
13. “You could take away all the money from the wealthy and still not cover the fiscal problems for the country.”
14. “If you go to your financial planner and ask them what are you gonna earn on your savings, the answer is ‘bupkus.’ You can’t earn any money on your savings, you can’t afford to retire. That reduces the opportunity for the young people entering the labor force. The world has been turned upside down. This has got to change.”