Portfolio Manager Perspectives

Jeff Benjamin

Landesman on financial reform: Would you hurry it up, please?

Platinum Partners president just wants the debate to be over so markets can adjust; not ‘that big a deal'

Apr 29, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

The best thing about Congress' efforts to push through comprehensive financial reform? Eventually, it will be over, and the markets can adjust accordingly, said Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners LP, a $500 million hedge fund shop.

“To a lesser extent, financial reform reminds me of health care reform, but banks are easier targets because they have no natural supporters,” he said. “Mostly what I want is for it to be over.”

Similar to what happened during the prolonged health care debate, Mr. Landesman believes the share prices of banks and other financial institutions are being effected by the uncertainty of the proposed legislation.

“I was bullish on health care stocks after it was all over, even though it wasn't a great bill,” he said. “Getting through this financial reform bill will be reasonably positive for banks because it will be over, and I personally don't think this financial reform is that big of a deal.”

While Mr. Landesman doesn't interpret either the financial reform debate or the Goldman Sachs congressional hearings as positives for the market, he is generally bullish on the financial markets in the U.S.

“For the most part the economic data and earnings data coming out of the U.S. have been good,” he said. “Right now I'm more bullish on the U.S. than I am bullish about non-U.S. markets, and that's rare for me.”

The signs of real recovery in the U.S. are starting to appear, although he acknowledged, “everything is not fantastic.”

“Unemployment is still high and housing is still weak,” he said. “But the consumer seems to have started to come back to the markets.”

Portfolio Manager Perspectives are regular interviews with some of the most respected and influential fund managers in the investment industry. For more information, please visit InvestmentNews.com/pmperspectives.

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