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Icahn vs Ackman

OMG, I just saw a life changing fight on TV!  The billionaire battle between Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn was incredible!

During my lunch break, I was watching CNBC and I lucky enough to see the live verbal fight (via phone) between Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn.  It was by far the most incredible thing that I’ve ever seen on CNBC!  Two billionaires with bad blood between them fighting in a way that we never see “the really, really rich” fight!

Both billionaires use similar technique in the stock market, so they are really too drastically different in the ways that they make money.  Amazing…

If you do watch the clip above, remember that emotions often make people say things that they wouldn’t normally say in their day-to-day communications.  Mr Icahn definitely got emotional about it when he called in when Mr. Ackman was dissing him on the TV.  Mr Icahn said things that I’m sure tomorrow that he’s probably regret.  Especially when he attacked the news reporter in the middle of the phone fight.

The gist of the billionaire battle was when Ackman was doing an online interview and started attacking Icahn.  Icahn heard and called in to defend himself.  Carl was fuming and came into the fight holding back nothing.  He was swearing and took the attack very emotionally.  Bill kept it very proper and didn’t swear, at least as far as I could remember.  Now just because Ackman didn’t swear doesn’t mean that he’s right or wrong (same for Ackman), but he protected himself from any future lawsuits.

I have to admit, I wasn’t happy when Bill Ackman announced his short as a big public event, to me if felt like he was going a pump and dump kind of maneuver.  After all, he’s in the stock (shorting it), and he tell everybody knowing that it will cause a flooding of sell trades.  This instantly makes him money, and thus seems like a pump and dump kind of maneuver.

While Carl Icahn doesn’t go as public as Bill Ackman, his moves still has a drastic effect on the market too.

I’m not here to judge, but based on the emotional response of Carl Icahn, I get the feeling that Mr Ackman used his education and the law to out maneuver Mr. Icahn in their feuding sometime in the past and Mr. Icahn, being tough, still has extreme dislike for Bill Ackman.  But really how knows.  Unless others come out of the woodwork that are reputable (like maybe a Warren Buffett) who support one or the other, we’ll never really know who is more likely right or wrong…

Again, amazing!  Watch the video, I’m pretty sure you probably never have seen anything like it.



5 Responses to Icahn vs Ackman

  1. People who watched that probably don’t have a very favorable view of Icahn, no matter what they believed before they watched it. Icahn doesn’t have much room to hit on Ackman for his short bet, either, since Icahn most recently announced a position in Netflix, much of which he acquired with options, which essentially leveraged him to the spike in the price that came after news that he bought a 10% stake.

    I don’t have a problem with any investor buying or selling a stock and then laying out the case for why they did it. Sure, Ackman’s presentation and comments slaughtered HLF’s stock price for a little bit, but the market digested it and now it’s priced in. Ackman is right or wrong, what happens in the short term isn’t important, really. He says he’s in until Herbalife goes to $0/share. And it wasn’t as though he didn’t have his research…the presentation was three hours long.

    I think Ackman was being honest. After the interview he put out the contract between him and Icahn for all to read:

    Just bad blood between two legendary investors. It’s a shame, too, since both are among the best, if not the best, at activist investing.

  2. I saw/heard it too!! It really was kind of awesome to see that happen on live air. I agree with you about not liking the announcement and I really hope the SEC takes a second look just to see if he did that on purpose – to increase the profitability of that short as a market maker a la the trickery of Jim Crammer a while back lol