Last week, Leon Cooperman held a conference call with Omega Advisors' investors, in which he expressed frustration at a lack of palatable presidential candidates who have what it takes to make this country great. So dire is the situation that Cooperman told them that he'd just have to run for president himself. Was he kidding? No, he was not.
Cooperman insists that he was not kidding.
Why then, if he was so dead serious, has he not announced his candidacy? He was planning on hanging up the phone and having his secretary send out an email to his entire address book, importance marked 'high as fuck,' to do just that, but his investors held him back.
Cooperman...was talked out of it by his spooked investors, who urged him to continue managing their money.
While he sadly won't be making a play for the Oval Office, Cooperman did take the time to jot down a couple of his ideas that any candidates are free to crib, entitled "Presidential Plan."
No. 1 on his list: Get all troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He then would give every returning soldier a free four-year education at a college or trade school of his or her choice. Number two: He would use some of the savings from leaving those two wars to create a Works Progress Administration, similar to the one established by Roosevelt during the Great Depression, to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. Cooperman also wants to unleash the domestic energy industry to develop supplies and reserves, with the goal of ending dependency on foreign oil. In his fourth point, he asserts that government spending should be limited to a growth rate of at least 1 percent below the level of nominal GDP growth.
No. 5: Freeze entitlements and raise the Social Security retirement age to 70. However, he would exclude those who work at hard-labor jobs such as coal mining. In his sixth point, Cooperman would also levy a 10 percent surtax for three years on individuals earning more than $500,000 per year. No. 8: Tackle health care in a serious way. He offers no specific recommendations, though. Last, he would ban or curtail high-frequency trading and limit the trading of credit default swaps to those that own the underlying bonds. “The high-frequency traders are turning the best capital market in the world into a casino and scaring the public,” he told his clients. “This is not in the public interest.”
Leon Cooperman's 9-Point Presidential Plan [Institutional Investor]