Carl Icahn: Key Ideas for America

Carl Icahn is one of the greatest investors of his generation, if not of all time.

In a recent video, he makes a variety of political points, many of which i find myself in agreement about . . .

  • U.S. lawmakers need to end their fiscal inertia.
  • CEOs are taking advantage of the system — as in the prior cycle, which led us to the Great Recession.
  • Our economy must reduce its dependency on low interest rates.
  • Overseas income should be repatriated and used to expand physical plant.
  • U.S. corporate-tax regulation needs restructuring.
  • Tax inversions are unfair.
  • There is too much “financial engineering” and not enough capital expenditures.
  • The quality of earnings reports these days is poor.
  • The Federal Reserve should raise interest rates because the risks of malinvestment in numerous asset classes have risen.
  • The high-yield market is in a bubble.
  • Donald Trump might be a viable presidential candidate — he’s what the country “needs.”
  • The role of BlackRock (BLK) in the high yield market (and others) represents systemic risk.
  • Wall Street does what it does best — sells securities. It doesn’t exist to make individual investors money.


Hat tip: Doug Kass

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Paul Mathis commented on Sep 29

    Thanks for the Morning hilarity!

    “The Federal Reserve should raise interest rates because the risks of malinvestment in numerous asset classes have risen.”

    That statement is so ridiculous it is hard to believe anyone said it. But wait, Carl did endorse Trump, right?

  2. investmentbanker commented on Sep 29

    There’s no doubt this country likes an honest, confident candidate with a sharp business acumen, but I think an unapologetic xenophobe is the last thing this country needs.

    • dyrwolf commented on Sep 29

      Xenophobe because he wants to stop illegal immigrants from flooding out country? Really?

    • intlacct commented on Sep 30

      Is it xenophobic to keep out immigrants that don’t agree with secular humanism, who will butcher anyone who disagrees with them, whose first generation might not be a problem but whose second and third might be, who don’t agree in separation of church and state, who believe women are inferior, whose foundational text offers a litany of recommendations for violence, who have lots of babies and don’t like to assimilate, who repatriate money made here to organizations dedicated to killing folks they outnumber 120 to 1, who don’t value education, etc.?

    • VennData commented on Sep 29

      Why does anyone think a businessman would make a good President?

    • DeDude commented on Sep 30

      Yes knowing how to sucker people into wasting huge amount of money on a sub-standard product they really don’t need to waste their money on – that is the prototype of a successful business leader, but is that what we want in a government leader?

      We really need someone for whom the quality of produced services is key, rather than how inexpensively the services can be produced without regards to their quality (as long as the recipients don’t realize the failure of quality until later). At this time we are building cheap “30 year” roads instead of adding 1/3 in cost and producing “50 year” roads. The reason is the ignorance of voters who think that “the cheaper the better”.

    • VennData commented on Sep 30

      And the GOP is kicking the budget down the road for two months.

      There are so pro-business, pro-economy, pro-demand, pro planning and taking away that dreaded “uncertainty.”

      Republicans shut down government. Keep on voting for them.

  3. VennData commented on Sep 29

    Obama’s plan to tax offshore idle cash is rejected. Why?


    If they keep the money overseas, charge them an immediate 30% tax. t’s been sitting there untaxed accumulating for year’s since the Bush give away.

    Make them bring it back home. Don’t coddle these overpaid CEOs. Earmark the taxes raised for infrastructure.

    Oh no, we can’t do that to the delicate CEO’s VennData, they’re so nubile and soft.

  4. Rich in NJ commented on Sep 29

    My three priorities are: 1) rebuilding and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure on a very large scale; 2) refinancing the national debt over a long time horizon at the current low interest rates; and 3) finding a way to overturn, repeal, or negate Citizens United.

    What are Trump’s positions on these issues?

  5. willid3 commented on Sep 29

    maybe if a company wants to do a tax inversion, they get hit with a 50% exit tax based on the larger of income tax records or records used to for income at a public company, if not a public company, income based on earnings excluding expenses and credits, plus they cant import into the US for a few decades, and they cant purchase any US business for any purpose, and they loose all US licenses?

  6. willid3 commented on Sep 29

    and raising interest rates sounds good if there was any real proof that the economy had turned around. while its infinitely better than 2008, its certainly not recovered completely. makes one wonder why some are so determined to break the economy by a too early return to ‘normal’ interest rates. what those. and calling low interest ‘unnatural’ is a hoot, since interest rates themselves are unnatural.

    • intlacct commented on Sep 30

      What I don’t get is that low interest rates favor lenders (ie the rich guys). Why GOP voters that got Obamacare keep punishing the people protecting them puzzles me.

  7. constantnormal commented on Sep 29

    I had to dig around a bit to find a report of exactly what Trump has proposed … 90+% of the “media analysis” opens with a frontal attack and never gets around to actually listing what was proposed.

    That said, while it is certainly not perfect, it is the only plan that anyone is willing to show the public. What does that say about all the others?

    • VennData commented on Sep 29

      t I do want to weigh in for a minute on Donald Trump’s tax plan — which would, surprise, lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit. That’s in contrast to Jeb Bush’s plan, which would lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit, and Marco Rubio’s plan, which would lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit.

      At this point there are no Republican candidates deviating at all from the usual pattern. Why, it’s almost as if nobody in the party ever cared about deficits except as an excuse to slash social spending, and is totally committed to redistributing income upward.

    • DeDude commented on Sep 30

      That is not true. Both Trumph and Jeb have come up with similar fuzzy plans full of absurd presumptions (Jeb presume 4% GDP growth, Trumph presumes 6%). Both refuse to answer questions about specifics.

    • VennData commented on Sep 30

      They don’t need no stinking budgets!

      Sorry for the South of the Boarder allusion.

  8. formerlawyer commented on Sep 29

    A conservative think tank ‘s analysis says Mr. Trump’s tax plan would increase the deficit by 75% over the next decade:
    Original piece :

    Although the Taxfoundation’s bias has been called into question
    (yes I know it it wikipaedia – but it is close enough for govt work)

  9. VennData commented on Sep 30

    Icahn is On CNBC saying “Earnigns are a mirage.”

    THIS is the clown you thing has good ideas? That all of corporate America is lying?!

    Clowns talking their books are not worthy of posts, maybe commenters mocking at them.

    • VennData commented on Sep 30

      The podium CNBC has given Icahn is un-watchable. The guy’s incoherent.

      “…these guys talk about women in government, but the they’re not looking at people next to them, the Fed is up there…”

      Back to Bloomberg.

  10. RW commented on Sep 30

    Some of my best equity shorts were companies in which Carl Icahn had a significant long position; e.g., WCI Communities and Motorola.

    I have little doubt Icahn made money regardless and quite a bit more than I when all was said and done but that is only to reiterate that the rich are not like you and me; e.g, they have leverage and side plays non-plutocrats can only dream of.

    So I don’t try to emulate the plays of the wealthy and powerful, that’s a mug’s game, and I don’t pay much attention when they pontificate either since they’re long past the point where they can talk anyone’s book but their own but I have found it profitable to fade that book now and then.

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