Money Managers And Their Donation Dollars
Omega's Cooperman Says Obama 'Not Totally Different' From Hitler

Oct 3 2012 | 12:28pm ET

Omega Advisors' Leon Cooperman is throwing some more gasoline on the fire of the hedge fund's industry's hatred of President Barack Obama.

The billionaire, who is Jewish, compared Obama to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in a New Yorker interview. And he told the magazine that it's not the first time he's made the comparison.

"You know, the largest and greatest country in the free world put a 47-year-old guy that never worked a day in his life and made him in charge of the free world," Cooperman told the New Yorker. "Not totally different from taking Adolf Hitler in Germany and making him in charge of Germany because people were economically dissatisfied."

Cooperman quickly backtracked, saying, "Now, Obama's not Hitler. I don't even mean to say anything like that. But it is a question that the dissatisfaction of the populace was so great that they were willing to take a chance on an untested individual."

Cooperman backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) against Obama four years ago, but didn't become a vocal opponent of the president until an Obama advertisement calling on the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. The Omega chief also admits that he may have been particularly peeved at Obama because he said the president failed to send him a thank-you note after Cooperman sent the president a copy of a book of poetry written by his 14-year-old granddaughter.

But Cooperman is not alone among his peers in using such inflammatory language against the president. The Blackstone Group's Stephen Schwarzman said two years ago, after Obama sought to eliminate the carried-interest loophole, "It's war. It's like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939."

The carried-interest loophole allows hedge fund and private equity managers to pay 15% on most of their income, rather than the top rate of 35%. Germany's invasion of Poland, alongside the Soviet Union, wiped that country from the map and led to the deaths of more than 5 million Poles.

And at a 2011 hedge fund dinner, at which Cooperman gave former Vice President Al Gore an open letter to Obama accusing the president of class warfare, SkyBridge Capital's Anthony Scaramucci said that the letter was the "activation" of a "sleeper cell" against Obama.

The inflammatory attacks do have at least one critic close to their authors. Cooperman told the New Yorker that his wife called him a "schmuck" for earlier comparisons of Obama to Hitler.


In Depth

Why Ponzi Schemes Work: An In-Depth Look At The Allen Stanford Fraud

Dec 21 2014 | 10:30am ET

Texan Allen Stanford first appeared on the radars of financial regulators in 1997...

Lifestyle

Hedgie Funds US Squash Program

Dec 24 2014 | 8:46am ET

Squash, anyone?

Guest Contributor

EidoSearch’s Top Three Market Projections For 2015

Dec 23 2014 | 4:03am ET

It is that time of year again when prognosticators make their big market calls for...

 

Sponsored Content

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

December 2014 Cover

Futures 2014 person of the year

Jeff Sprecher was simply looking for a platform to trade energies when launching ICE 14 years ago but it has grown to reach the pinnacle of both the listed futures and equities world.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.