NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.42% Wednesday. On CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show, the focus was on hedge fund manager Carl Icahn, interviewed during CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference.
Icahn gave his thoughts on a number of different situations, starting with the stock market and the impact of the Federal Reserve. "I'm nervous," Icahn explained. The Fed continues to pump money into the markets while the economy remains decent but not great. If Janet Yellen is unsure of the outcome, how can any other market participant have a clue? he asked.
Icahn, who has a long position in Family Dollar (FDO), said there are "good synergies" in the company, but not with its management. The CEO of Family Dollar should be fired, he argued.
Icahn thinks corporate management in general is "mediocre." "What a board should be doing is the opposite of what they do," which is micromanage, he explained. Instead, boards should be focused on finding a capable CEO to run their companies unless board members have extensive knowledge that can benefit their companies.
Also at the conference was hedge fund manager -- and one-time foe of Icahn's -- Bill Ackman, who agreed that corporate board members should not micromanage the CEO and other management. However, he said the board can be extremely valuable in financing deals or other complex situations as well as mergers and acquisitions.
Ackman called index funds "an ideal product, a great way for people to invest money very cost-effectively." However, index fund managers are not going to approach company management with more effective strategies and other activist suggestions.
Activists are entrepreneurs, he said, before discussing Valeant Pharmaceutical's (VRX) bid for Allergan (AGN). Ackman teamed up with Valeant in an attempt to facilitate a takeover of Allergan. The board continues to reject Valeant's bid, although Valeant is offering to pay a handsome premium and is willing to pay even more, he said.
Allergan's board has accused Valeant of accounting fraud, Ackman said. He said Allergan is making it very hard for shareholders to hold a special meeting about the potential acquisition, a deal that should ultimately "go through," he predicted.