Local hedge-fund manager and philanthropist Leon Cooperman (benefactor of the MetroWest JCC, Daughters of Israel nursing home, Jewish Community Foundation, etc., etc.) is profiled in the New Yorker, where he is described by a fellow fund manager as the “pope” of a “sleeper cell” of hedge-fund managers against Obama.
As he did in an “open letter” to Obama back in December, Cooperman accuses Obama of “class warfare” for suggesting that C.E.O.s and hedge-fund managers should pay ”a little more” taxes.
The growing antagonism of the super-wealthy toward Obama can seem mystifying, since Obama has served the rich quite well. His Administration supported the seven-hundred-billion-dollar TARP rescue package for Wall Street, and resisted calls from the Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, and others on the left, to nationalize the big banks in exchange for that largesse. At the end of September, the S. & P. 500, the benchmark U.S. stock index, had rebounded to just 6.9 per cent below its all-time pre-crisis high, on October 9, 2007. The economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have found that ninety-three per cent of the gains during the 2009-10 recovery went to the top one per cent of earners. Those seated around the table at [a May 2012] dinner with Al Gore [including Cooperman] had done even better: the top 0.01 per cent captured thirty-seven per cent of the total recovery pie, with a rebound in their incomes of more than twenty per cent, which amounted to an additional $4.2 million each.