Billionaire Leon Cooperman says that the U.S. economy and markets may be facing lasting implications from the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged global economies.
“ ‘Capitalism as we know it will likely be changed forever.’ ”
Speaking during a Thursday morning interview on CNBC, the wealthy investor said the impact of the virus has changed things in 10 specific ways, in his view:
- Capitalism is altered due to the impacts on economies from the viral outbreak
- Cooperman said politics in the U.S. are moving more to the left: “Taxes will have to go up.”
- Low interest rates may be lasting and are indicative of ‘a troubled economy.’
- Consumer demand will come back slowly unless there is a vaccine for the coronavirus
- Businesses will face compliance costs related to the virus
- Lots of equity issuance will be required to “replace lost capital.”
- Stock buybacks, one of the markets biggest drivers, will fade away
- Profit margins at corporations will revert to the mean
- Credit is cheaper than equities
- A quiet Warren Buffett, a white knight in the last crisis, is a bad sign for the long term/
The prominent, veteran investor, who boasts a net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes, said he thinks that the market is currently fairly valued at its current level but could head to as low as 2,200 on the S&P 500 index due to the coming recession.
“I believe that the market doesn’t hold any great excitement for me at the current time,” he said.
Back in February Cooperman, while acknowledging he’s no expert on epidemics, expressed confidence in the outlook for the economy and said “mankind will conquer” the coronavirus problem, predicting that the clouds hanging over the stock market will clear by June. He also at one point referred to the coronavirus as a “blemish” on a “beautiful lady”
His comments come as the stock market was attempting to shake off another bad unemployment report, which showed that more than 4.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended April 18, bringing the total unemployed to over 26 million, as the pandemic has caused major business shutdowns across the U.S.
At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.71% was up nearly 200 points, 0.8%, around 23,662, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.82% was 0.9% at 2,824. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.98% gained about 1% at 8,578.