Billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Coopermancontends that U.S. would be mired in an economic recession today if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.
The nation is better off with President Donald Trump in the White House than it would have been under Clinton or her 2016 rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Cooperman told CNBC.
"'I don't know what I'll get with Donald Trump, but I'll take my chances,'" Cooperman said he was thinking before the election.
The chairman and CEO of Omega Advisor said he's a registered independent.
"I think personally if Hillary Clinton had won, we'd be in a recession today," he said on "Fast Money Halftime Report."
Trump deserves "a lot" of the credit for the stock market run since the November election, he added.
"The intelligent people who voted for Donald Trump a year ago, 'said I know what I'll get when I get Hillary. I don't want it.'"
In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC:
- Cooperman also said the stock market is not overvalued yet. He characterized it as "reasonably fully valued." He thinks "the market is doing better this year than I thought," he said. "[But] I don't see euphoria." He said his biggest holding is Google-parent Alphabet. He does not think Amazon is a monopoly. He also said the economy is gaining momentum.
- Cooperman thinks the Republican tax overhaul bill makes sense. Taxes going down for businesses is a positive, he said.
- Asked his opinion on bitcoin, Cooperman said, "I dont know anything about it," adding he has no money in it. He did say blockchain, the technology underlying the digital currency, is "interesting." But bitcoin going from $1,000 earlier this year to $19,000 does not make sense, Cooperman said. "There is euphoria in bitcoin," he said, but stressed again there's no euphoria in the stock market.
However, others believe Trump himself may spark a recession.
Newsmax Finance Insider Patrick Watson has discussed why Trump's tax cuts won’t stimulate the economy as much as Republicans think.
"In short, most CEOs say they will use any tax savings for stock buybacks or dividends, not new hiring or expansion," Watson said.
"But what if, instead of little or no growth, this tax bill sets off an outright contraction? The current economic expansion is now the third-longest since World War II. It’s also the weakest," Watson recently wrote.
"My main fear as we entered 2017 was that the Fed would tighten too much and too fast, pushing the economy into a deflationary recession. I still think that’s the most likely scenario," Watson said.
"With this tax bill passes in its current form, the recession may happen sooner and go deeper. The combined fiscal and monetary tightening could be the triggers," Watson argued.
"However, first we might get a sugar-high inflationary rally, which could last a while. GDP ran above potential for four years in the late 1990s and for over a year in the housing craze. Those were fun times while they lasted. Then the fun stopped," Watson said.
"One thing I’m positive won’t happen is another 10 years of uninterrupted 3% or 4% real GDP growth, as politicians so glibly promise. That’s pure fantasy."
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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