Billionaire Leon Cooperman calls cryptocurrency ‘crap’

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Stocks still have further to fall, billionaire investor Leon Cooperman warned on Tuesday — adding that speculative assets such as SPAC deals, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are “crap” and aren’t likely to recover anytime soon.

Cooperman, the chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, said he sees the US economy falling into a recession in 2023 and a tumultuous period to come for investors — even after the S&P 500 entered bear market territory.

“I’m assuming by the time this is over, if we fall into a recession, that the market could have declined 40% of its peak,” Cooperman told CNBC. “That’s my basic modus operandi.”

The S&P 500 closed in bear market territory on Monday and is down about 22% since the start of the year. Cooperman is predicting a decline of up to 40% from the S&P 500’s all-time high of approximately 4,800, which was established in January.

Cooperman also took aim at some assets, such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, that have shown the most volatility during the market’s recent downturn.

“I believe we’ve gone through one of the most speculative periods I’m aware of – you know, SPACs, all that kind of crap that was going on. Crypto and non-fungible tokens and stuff like that. I think it would be unlikely to go back into a bull market anytime soon,” Cooperman added.

Leading cryptocurrencies plummeted this week, with the price of bitcoin briefly plunging below $21,000 for the first time since December 2020. The SPAC market has also cratered in recent months as investors shy away from riskier deals.

Cooper noted surging oil prices, which topped $122 per barrel on Tuesday, as well as the Federal Reserve’s move to tighten monetary policy in response to inflation as likely triggers for the recession.

Leon Cooperman said stocks are likely to stay under pressure for some time.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The hedge fund legend said there was “too much liquidity” in the economy for a recession to occur this year.

“My basic viewpoint is the 4,800 of the S&P is likely to be the high for quite some time,” Cooperman said.

Investors are bracing for a potential recession by dumping riskier assets, including stocks and cryptocurrencies, as the Fed moves forward with interest rate hikes.

Worried NYSE trader
The Fed’s plan to tighten policy has weighed on stocks.
Getty Images

The central bank is expected to hike its benchmark rate by as much as 1% at a meeting this week due to persistent inflation hammering American household budgets.

Cooperman has an estimated fortune of $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.

He is the latest Wall Street fixture to predict major trouble ahead for the US economy. JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon warned earlier this month of a looming economic “hurricane” for investors.





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