While the U.S. economy appears to be on "decent footing," Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors said on Monday that he sees a couple of drags to a real recovery.
"To me, the biggest issue—more of a philosophical issue—is that income disparity is reaching extremes. Monetary policies that we've pursued have really benefited myself, and I guess you guys like to call them the 1 percent people," he said on CNBC's "Halftime Report."
"But, you know, (former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke figured out that he wanted to get the economy up and the best way to get the economy up. And the best way to get the economy up was to create more wealth. And he created more wealth by creating a higher stock market.
"The trouble is that 80 percent of securities, or the vast bulk securities, are owned by a few people. And so, the benefit of the monetary policy has not been broadly based, other than, I think, everyone's house values up to a degree."
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Cooperman, who oversees $10.5 billion in assets as chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, said that growing income disparity would have to be addressed to clear a path for strong global economic health.
"That's an issue that we'll have to deal with, whether we deal with that in tax policy or more intelligent fiscal policy, something's got to be done," he said. "I mean, there's 75 million youth around the world that are unemployed, which is great potential for social unrest, and I think the governments around the world have a responsibility to figure out how to deal with this. It's a real issue."
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Cooperman also said that the Fed's bond-buying program created "some degree of artificiality in the system."
"Yes, we've begun the tapering program, but the Fed is still very much involved in buying paper every month. And to the extent that it's an artificiality, you have to take away from the multiple," he added. "Also, the fact that profit margins are substantially above historical norms, one should mark down the multiple a bit."
Cooperman said that the proper market multiple is about 16 times earnings, with a consensus earnings estimate of about $117 per share, putting the S&P 500 around the 1,870 level.
"And for the end of this year, the market—the economy, I should say, is looking well for 2015, and we think it should be," he added. "Then mark it up for another 6 percent, and that gives you a number close to the mid-1,900s, and that's kind of our central scenario. But I would be surprised if it rages. I think it'll continue to age because most bear markets relate to recession, and it does not look like a recession is in the cards anytime soon."
Cooperman said that he expects moderate growth for the stock market but probably not a continued rally.
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"Is the bull market aging? Yes. Is it over? No. Is it likely to rage from here? I would be highly doubtful. I think the market's in a zone of fair valuation, and there's no real reason for it to rage, in my opinion," he said.
"Ultimately, the stock market's got to bear a relationship to what's going on in the economy. If the economy's growing 2, 2½ percent real and profits are growing, let's say, 5, and inflation is 1½ and short rates is zero, and the 10-year government is I guess currently 2.70 there's no basis for the market to have a 30 percent year again like it had last year. I'm kind of thinking the market's in a zone of fair valuation."
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"I think they should spin out a portion of PayPal, monetize that, create a value," he said. "It should lower their cost of capital and give them some flexibility in managing their capital structure."
Cooperman said that view would be raised with eBay's management, but out of the spotlight.
"We'll promote our views and our thinking directly to the management, and we'll have to wait and see," he said. "At the end of the day, the way we vote is we vote with our feet. If we don't like what's going on, if we don't like the valuation proposition, then we'll move on."
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EBay stock accounts for about 2 percent of Omega Advisors' holdings, Cooperman added.
Calling Icahn "an enormous intellect," he also drew a distinction.
"We're not public activists," he said. "In this case, we happen to agree with him."