NYC Hedge Fund Billionaire Says The Quiet Part Loud During Meltdown Over GameStop Stocks – Gothamist


Cooperman (right) speaking with CNBC’s Scott Wapner on Thursday


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The manic GameStop stock buying spree that’s pit an army of conniving Redditors against some of Wall Street’s mightiest hedge funds has sparked the interest of many New Yorkers. But understanding what’s behind this “squeeze of a lifetime” can get a little confusing. Thankfully, we have the experienced hands at the financial news press to walk us through this exciting time.

Over an CNBC’s Fast Money: Halftime, host Scott Wapner devoted much of his show on Thursday to discussing the intricacies of the GameStop situation with seasoned pros like Leon Cooperman, chairman and CEO of the New York-based hedge fund Omega Advisors.

“The reason the market is doing what it’s doing is people are sitting at home getting their checks from the government,” Cooperman (net worth: $3.2 billion) explained. He continued:

Listen to this incredible crybaby pic.twitter.com/KmJvZpBQ59

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog)

Less experienced investors than Cooperman have proffered their own explanations for the winding saga — how an army of rude online dilettantes managed, at least for a time, to execute a mass wealth transfer from far more experienced investors like Melvin Capital and Citron Research, and what that might say about the foundations of our sacred stock market. (Such explanations are beyond the scope of this blog post; try TikTok).

But Cooperman — whose personal ambition and financial acumen are so vast as to attract the attention of the SEC (he settled without admitting guilt) — dismissed that notion. “At the end of the day, the stock market reflects economic progress or the lack thereof,” he told the program. “From my experience, this will end in tears.” (Having famously shed some of his own over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, this is another thing that 77-year-old Goldman Sachs alum can be trusted to know.)

He concluded. “This fair share is a bullshit concept! It’s a way of attacking wealthy people! I think it’s inappropriate!” This was not so much in response to a specific question, but an intonement of a truth so fundamental that it required no prompt at all.


CNBC’s Thursday morning panel of experts


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The segment wrapped up soon after, with a different analyst voicing his stern disappointment with those who would “target certain institutional investors,” following by CNBC reporters recommending viewers invest in real, sturdy stock, such as Bank of America and Exxon.

A few hours later, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Warren, and others called for a Congressional investigation into Robinhood, after the trading platform blocked investors from buying stock in GameStop, as part of an alleged market manipulation aimed at benefitting their large institutional investors.

[Full disclosure: I am the owner of exactly one stock in GameStop, which I foolishly purchased on Wednesday night prior to watching the financial news.]

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