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Leon Cooperman's Investors Had To Beg Him Not To Take A Massive Pay Cut For A Thankless Job

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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]


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Leon Cooperman's Beef With President Obama Involves An Unsolicited Copy Of His 14 Year-Old Granddaughter's Self-Published Memoirs And Not One Handwritten Thank-You Note In Return

Last November, hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman penned an "Open Letter To The President Of The United States of America," in which he detailed the many ways Barack Obama was pissing him off. The Omega Advisors founder accused the President (and his "minions") of engaging in class warfare, expressed disbelief that he could attack "capitalists who...fill store shelves at Christmas" and still sleep at night, and advised Obama to "eschew the polarizing vernacular of political militancy," lest he lose* Cooperman's vote the next year.  While LC says that he received a major outpouring of support for his words ("[he] keeps a bulging manila folder of congratulatory notes in his office"), others were less than pleased at what they saw as a guy who actually has done pretty okay under Obama lashing out because his feelings were hurt on the occasions the president was perceived to have a "tone" in his voice when discussing the mega-wealthy ("If I knew where you lived, I’d put a bomb in your car," one person wrote Cooperman to say). Similarly, Cooperman's suggestion, on at least two occasions, that America should be worried about the startling parallels between Obama's rise to power and that of Adolf Hitler,** was met with mixed reviews, including one by his wife in which she called him a "schmuck." And while some*** have found it preposterous that Cooperman would paint himself as a victim of Obama, their astonishment speaks to not knowing the whole story, i.e. exactly what this man- no, this monster- did to Leon. Last July, before he had written the letter, Cooperman was invited to the White House for a reception to honor wealthy philanthropists who had signed Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least fifty per cent of their net worth to charity. At the event, Cooperman handed the President two copies of “Inspired: My Life (So Far) in Poems,” a self-published book written by Courtney Cooperman, his fourteen-year-old granddaughter. Cooperman was surprised that the President didn’t send him a thank-you note or that Malia and Sasha Obama, for whom the books were intended as a gift and to whom Courtney wrote a separate letter, didn’t write to Courtney. (After Cooperman grumbled to a few friends, including Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, Michelle Obama did write. Booker, who was also a recipient of Courtney’s book, promptly wrote her “a very nice note,” Cooperman said.) Now do you understand? Now do you understand? Even Hitler would have sent SOMETHING. Super-Rich Irony [New Yorker] Earlier: Leon Cooperman Doesn't Like The Tone Of President Obama's Voice *Just messing about him ever being in a position to "lose" it, of course. **Settle down, he wasn't saying Obama IS Hitler, would would be biologically impossible, he was just saying Obama is the second coming of Hitler, which is something people should be aware of: “You know, the largest and greatest country in the free world put a forty-seven-year-old guy that never worked a day in his life and made him in charge of the free world,” Cooperman told the New Yorker in May. “Not totally different from taking Adolf Hitler in Germany and making him in charge of Germany because people were economically dissatisfied. Now, Obama’s not Hitler. I don’t even mean to say anything like that. But it is a question that the dissatisfaction of the populace was so great that they were willing to take a chance on an untested individual.” ***Mrs. Cooperman, for example.: She is still a liberal, a position that puts her in the minority in their social circle. “She can be a socialist because she’s married to a capitalist,” Cooperman says of his wife, who is strongly pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. She calls Todd Akin, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry “morons,” and she worries about the underclass. “I care more about the disadvantaged people of America,” she said, comparing her politics with those of her husband.