Markets

Bernie Sanders 'doesn't have a clue' — Leon Cooperman says a lurch left in 2020 could hurt stocks

Key Points
  • The billionaire investor says the stock market could get hurt if a far-left candidate wins the presidency next year.
  • "Bernie Sanders, in my opinion, doesn't have a clue," says Cooperman.
  • Cooperman has been generally supportive of President Trump's business-friendly policies but critical at times of his conduct.
VIDEO3:0903:09
Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman: Movement to the left 'is a risk' for the market

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman told CNBC on Thursday the stock market could get hurt if a far-left candidate were to win the presidency in 2020.

"One of the risks for the market is if there's a movement to the left," Cooperman said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "Bernie Sanders, in my opinion, doesn't have a clue."

"We have the best economy in the world. Capitalism works," Cooperman said in a knock against Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist. The Vermont senator, a champion of progressives, is one of nearly two dozen candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic president nomination. He ran in 2016, but the party nomination went to Hillary Clinton.

As a platform, Sanders and some other Democratic presidential candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, are looking to increase taxes on the wealthy to pay for expanded government social programs.

"All in all, I'm not in favor of raising taxes. Taxes are high enough," Cooperman said. "I think it's counterproductive to look to the wealthy people across the board."

However, Cooperman said he personally could afford to pay higher taxes. "I can live with a 50% tax rate."

Cooperman, whose Omega Advisors is now a family office, said he plans to give all his money away through the Giving Pledge, created by Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett. Cooperman said he gave his children their inheritance years ago.

While generally supportive of President Donald Trump's business friendly policies, Cooperman has been critical at times of the president for the way he conducts himself and communicates.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter Morning Squawk

CNBC's before the bell news roundup
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and services.
By signing up for newsletters, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Next Article
Key Points
  • The billionaire investor believes the stock market is in a "zone of fair value" at current levels.
  • An S&P 500 increase to 3,100 in the near term — nearly 6% above Wednesday's close — would be "knocking on the door of euphoria," says Cooperman.
  • Trump administration policies and the president's calls for interest rate cuts pulling demand forward, Cooperman says.