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David Tepper is bullish in CNBC interview (with VIDEO)

tepperdavid092410_optN.J. billionaire predicts strong stock markets

BY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

David Tepper, checking in at number 62 on the Forbes 400 money list, is the founder of Appaloosa Management, which is a hedge fund investment firm based in Chatham, N.J., just west of New York City. It oversees $12.4 billion in client assets.

In a CNBC interview on Friday, Tepper, 53, said government intervention in the financial markets virtually guarantees that most investment choices will go up.

Businessinsider.com reports that the billionaire from New Jersey said, "I am the animal at the head of the pack... I either get eaten, or I get the good grass."

Right now he's loving the Fed put — basically the Fed's promise to intervene if the economy is weak — so he's pretty bullish on stocks.

Even though market reaction has been tepid, Tepper said this week's Federal Reserve Open Market Committee Statement reflected that the government will do whatever it needs to keep the capital markets from sinking below a designated level.

Dailyfinance.com reports that in 2009, Tepper jumped on badly beaten up financial stocks like Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) as fears of a nationalization that could wipe out equity holders pushed shares to rock bottom levels. The bet paid off enormously.

According to CNBC, Tepper's fund made $7.5 billion last year on a return of 132 percent, made mostly by betting on a resurgence in financials. He said the choice was easy — he simply followed the government's telegraphed moves that it was going to buy bank equity to make sure the industry did not completely collapse.

Tepper initially became interested in the stock market as a young boy watching his father trade stocks in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Today, as president and founder of Appaloosa Management, Tepper has earned an international reputation for producing some of the highest returns amongst fund managers on Wall Street.

According to gurufocus.com, Tepper earned a master of science in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon in 1982. He donated a record $55 million to the Graduate School of Industrial Administration. It is now called the Tepper School of Business. The gift is the largest donation to Carnegie Mellon University in its 104-year history.

Tepper, who is notoriously shy when it comes to granting interviews, appeared to move the market as he spoke on CNBC Friday morning, with the Dow gaining nearly 200 points on the day.

 

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