Economy

Cooperman: COVID-19 Could Change Capitalism Permanently

COVID-19

After previously indicating that he supported increased tax rates but was against a wealth tax concept, billionaire investor Leon Cooperman said in a televised interview that the coronavirus emergency will “likely” change capitalism permanently and taxes will need to be increased before long, according to a CNBC report.

The Omega Family Office chairman and CEO said the country is moving to the left, and taxes will need to be increased despite who wins this year’s presidential election.

“When the government is called upon to protect you on the downside, they have every right to regulate you on the upside,” Cooperman said, per CNBC. “So, capitalism is changed.”

The investor noted that “things like carried interest, capital gains taxes, the ability to roll over real estate sales tax-free” would have to be taken away.

Cooperman said he also was hopeful that portions of the economy could start to open again next month but forecasted a slow recovery overall.

“If you think of a sporting event or a concert, I can’t imagine they’ll come back until we have a vaccination,” he said, according to CNBC.

The investor also noted that stocks are fairly valued as of now.

Earlier this month, Cooperman said Congress has to do whatever is necessary to protect companies from the coronavirus’s impacts.

“If the government lets all these companies go bankrupt and they do disgorge labor, the government is going to have to basically pay a lot of unemployment benefits,” he said in a televised CNBC interview April 13. “Instead, they make low-interest rate or interest-free loans to these companies that are experiencing a liquidity crisis, the companies fix themselves up, and they come back.”

Cooperman’s comments were reportedly in reaction to comments made on CNBC by Chamath Palihapitiya. The “Shark Tank” guest and venture capitalist said the government should not be in the business of bailing out billionaires as part of its COVID-19 response.

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