Billionaire Leon Cooperman Says Coronavirus Will Change Capitalism: Government Has ‘Every Right to Regulate You On Upside’


The coronavirus pandemic could change the American economy forever, billionaire Leon Cooperman said in a Thursday interview.

“Capitalism, as we know it, will likely be changed forever,” Cooperman said in an interview on CNBC. “When the government is called upon to protect you on the downside, they have every right to regulate you on the upside. So capitalism is changed.”

He added that taxes “have” to go up, but would do so more quickly if former Vice President Joe Biden prevails in the 2020 election over President Donald Trump.

“The country is moving to the left. Taxes have to go up. Quickly if Biden wins, slowly if Trump wins, but taxes have to go up. So things like carried interest, capital gains taxes, the ability to roll over real estate sales tax-free, all that stuff is going to have to be eliminated. For the good, by the way,” Cooperman said.

He added that he didn’t believe the economy could return to full-steam until a coronavirus vaccine was developed, and large events required customers to carry vaccination cards. “Demand is likely to come back slowly. If you think of a sporting event or concert, I can’t imagine they’ll come back until we have a vaccination. Everybody will have to have a vaccination card. If you want access to a sporting event or a concert, you have to show your vaccination card to get admittance.”

Cooperman is chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, a New York investment advisory firm. Federal Election Commission records show he has contributed to several moderate Republicans in recent years, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, but also to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

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