Optimism about the US economy can be based on three assumptions—that the US is not another "Japan," that the European Central Bank is helping Europe’s financial institutions the same way the Federal Reserve is aiding those in the US and that President Obama is moving toward the center—Leon Cooperman, chairman CEO of Omega Advisors, told CNBC Tuesday.
“The economic outlook is one of growth,” said Cooperman, whose Omega is a $6 billion hedge fund.
Cooperman is a former CEO of asset management and general partner at Goldman Sachs . “If you make those three assumptions, we are at a place in the cycle where the stock market will be better,” he added.
Right now, Cooperman said, the mood in the investment community is optimistic, but investments have yet to catch up. He said that in pensions, generally less than 50 percent are in equities, as opposed to 65 percent five years ago. Comparing the same time frame, he noted a similar trend in investments by individuals: Five years ago, a quarter of their portfolio was in stocks; today it's down to 20 percent.
"Stocks at worst are the best house in a bad neighborhood," said Cooperman. He said that if the US's fiscal issues are dealt with correctly, "Stocks will be best house in a good neighborhood."
About Obama, he added: “You have to make an assumption that President Obama is not anti-wealth, anti-business in his rhetoric. I don’t think he believed that, but he has been doing it, because he wants to get re-elected.”
See Cooperman's full comments in the video above.