Carl’s Corner: The Election


Ahead of the election, you should know Carl Icahn has a few concerns.

“Right now our economy is in bad shape,” says the billionaire on Fast Money. “We need fiscal stimulus.”

And his concerns stem from the potential for higher taxes. “I’m not worried about rich people paying more taxes. But right now you have to coddle companies. You can’t have investors believe that a sitting president is going to go wild regulating policies,” he says.

In other words Icahn hopes that if Democrats win the White House that they’ll re-think campaign pledges to increase taxes on corporate America. "Otherwise there could be problems," he says.


Meanwhile, another political issue has Icahn a bit perturbed. It’s the “Say on Pay” issue and on his website IcahnReport, Carl says both sides of the aisles are outraged over the amount of money top managers are taking home while shareholders foot the bill.

Following is an excerpt:

The Democrats

The “Say on Pay” bill was passed by the House of Representatives on April 20, 2007 after being introduced by Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. On the same day, Senator Obama introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate requiring public companies to give shareholders an annual nonbinding vote on executive compensation.

An Obama speech attacked CEOs "who are making more in one day than their workers are making in a year." He states, "It's about changing a system where bad behavior is rewarded so that we can hold CEOs accountable, and make sure they're acting in a way that's good for their company, good for our economy, and good for America, not just good for themselves."

The WSJ reports in an article entitled 'Candidates Target Executive Pay' that, "Obama staffers … renewed his request for Senate hearings on the measure. If the 'say-on-pay' bill doesn’t pass this year, 'it will be a priority for Senator Obama as president,' campaign policy director Heather Higginbottom says."

Last month Obama stated, "The American people should not be spending one dime to reward the same Wall Street CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility got us into this mess. Not one dime." CEO accountability is probably the only issue where Obama and I agree. But Obama should demand it be binding.

The Republicans

Sen. John McCain joined in under his proposed reforms. BusinessWeek’s 'McCain Seeks Shareholders Say on Pay,' says the candidate believes that "all aspects of a CEO's pay, including any severance agreements, must be approved by shareholders."

McCain also takes a strong stance on corporate accountability: "Something is seriously wrong when the American people are left to bear the consequences of reckless corporate conduct, while the offenders themselves are packed off with another forty - or fifty million for the road. If I am elected president, I intend to see that wrongdoing of this kind is called to account by federal prosecutors."

In regards to Fannie and Freddie he states, "We’re looking at a costly government-led restructuring of our home loan agencies and we need to keep people in their homes, but we can’t allow this to turn into a bailout of Wall Street speculators and irresponsible executives."

I agree. I don’t think we should bail out irresponsible executives either.

You can join the campaign. Go to IcahnReport for more.

Got something to to say? Send us an e-mail at and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap. If you'd prefer to make a comment but not have it published on our website send those e-mails to

Trader disclosure: On Nov.3, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (BTU), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Macke Owns (UUP), (SDS), (MSFT), (WMT); Macke Is Short (TM)

Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT); Finerman's Firm Owns (OIH) Puts; Finerman's Firm Is Short (USO), (IYR), (IJR), (IWM), (MDY), (USO), (SPY); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (EEM), (F); Terranova Owns (VLO), (AAPL), (EXM), (FCX), (FTO), (POT), (X), (NOV)

Terranova Is Chief Alternatives Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.; Virtus Diversifier PHOLIO Owns (IGE), (DBC), (DBV)

Terranova Is Co-Portfolio Manager Of The Virtus Diversifier PHOLIO; Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (ABD), (ARE), (BIG), (CLB), (DLR), (EPR), (EXR), (MAC), (SLB), (SKT), (UA), (IGE), (DBC), (DBV),Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of Seagate Tax Refund Rights, Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of Shares Of Essex Property Trust Inc., Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of Shares Of Corporate Office Properties Trust SBI MD with wires