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.
Fast Money broke for President Obama announcing from the White House that the U.S. will be freezing assets for certain Russian defense companies as well as blocking financing for select energy and financial companies in Russia. The U.S. will continue to support Ukraine, while urging Russia to stop sending troops into the country and to support a cease fire.
Tim Seymour, managing partner of Triogem Asset Management, said it will be hard for Europe to put too much pressure on Russia, considering it gets 25% of its gas from the country. He added that these Russian companies' "ability to access capital outside of the United States is very high," although he commends the President for his decision and attempt.
Dan Nathan, co-founder and editor of riskreversal.com, suggested that German equities could take a hit due to this news.
Karen Finerman, president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, proposed that Icahn team up with Ackman to get the Allergan and Valeant deal completed.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.