Market Correction 'No Big Thing': Ken Langone
Special to CNBC.com
Tuesday's hefty stock market drop is "a correction. It’s healthy. It’s no big thing. So what?" investor Ken Langone told CNBC.
The chairman of Invemed Associates said he is "more bothered by the fact that we aren’t creating a massive number of jobs in America. I think we are going to have a hardcore unemployment in America, and what do you do about that?"
Langone says unemploymentis higher than the official rate of 8.3 percent because of the many people who have given up looking and thus are doing less to help the economy. If included the unemployment rate could be as high as 13 percent, he said.
"To me it’s purchasing power. If they can’t get a job they don’t have the money to spend," he said. "We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’ve got to worry about the deficit. We’ve got to worry about restoring respect for business in America. Let’s not look at the jobs that government creates. That costs money. Let’s look at the jobs that businesses create. That generates money."
Speaking of which, Langone said he sees "a lot of opportunity" despite the market's declines "but I’m a long-term investor. I think there can be some bumps along the way."
He said he'd "buy the banks" because they've "cleaned their act up" and have low valuations.
"JPMorgan Chase has a balance sheet that's like a battleship," Langone said. "Wells Fargo , the same thing. Bank of America is getting better, Citi's getting better."
He has other loves — Home Depot , the company he helped co-found, which is "in the best shape it's ever been." He also likes Schlumberger and health-care stocks. "We're living longer. It'll cost more money to keep us alive," he pointed out.
What he doesn't love is the Obama administration and its "punitive" view of business.
"You don’t lift someone else up by tearing me down. I take umbrage with talking about wealthy people and that we’re takers," said Langone. "The reality is every wealthy person I know has given more to charity in their lives than they’ve spent on themselves."
He said a Romney administration would restore respect for business, and that the battles the former Massachusetts governor is having with challengers Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum is "probably good training for what will come in the fall."