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Why It’s Wrong When Billionaires Try To Destroy Companies

I stumbled across this article Today on the NYtimes: “Staking $1 Billion That Herbalife Will Fail, Then Lobbying to Bring It Down” and it made me sick to my stomach.

It’s not that I’m a big fan of Herbalife, but the fact that Bill Ackman is shorting the company with a huge position first, and now trying to get it destroyed seems unethical to me.  Herbalife pretty much follows a similar model of business that Avon follows, the reps buy the goods then peddle the goods.  I wonder if Bill will go after EBay sellers too?  They buy goods in bulk and sell them individually on Ebay, or maybe he’s go after any business for that matter that involves selling goods.  I wonder after this he sees dollar signs in his eyes?

I was shocked in the article that Bill spending over $150,000 to get minority leaders and groups to file lawsuits and that he’s basically wining and dining certain democrats in office.

Does this sound a little corrupt to anyone?  I have to wonder if the groups that he’s pushing around realize that he is taking advantage of them?  Moving them like pawns so that he can make big bucks if he succeeds in him company destroying mission?

Where are the 99%ers?  Bill’s move will cost jobs, and opportunities.  Shouldn’t the be protesting him?

I admit, I’ve never tried Herbalife and probably never will, but I know that the dirty acts by Bill Ackman could and may put Herbalife out of business while making him huge bucks.  This is a case of absolute power corrupts absolutely (and apparently corrupts others political and influential groups too!)

Read the NYTimes article if you want to read about a problem 1%er that should be protested!  I guess when an arrogant Harvard-educated investor makes a mistake, being down millions (if not a billion), he lets ethics he learned at Harvard go out the window?

While shorts and folks like Bill Ackman aren’t all evil, ones that go after real companies and ones that are young in particular are doing the world a disservice.

I’m kind of surprised that politicians in particular push his causes, especially when it’s so apparent that Bill primary motive is for profit.  I wonder if those that push Bill’s efforts will get re-elected?

Perhaps they are fooled by the trick below that the NYTime article mentioned.  It’s what I refer to 1 move thinking:

He has argued that he is trying to protect Hispanics, who he says are most frequently recruited by Herbalife as distributors, only to find out that there is little money to be made.

Yet Mr. Ackman’s staff acknowledges that this crusade is really rooted in one goal: finding a way to undermine public confidence in Herbalife so that his $1 billion bet will produce an equally enormous return. Mr. Ackman has said he will donate any profits he personally earns to charity, calling it “blood money.” The clients who invest in his hedge fund, however, would still benefit enormously.

Oh, so on the surface it seems like he is not gaining from the destruction of Herbalife, but it does benefit Bill Ackman’s company and the investors within.  If the investors within realized that this company took a huge loss from the Herbalife short bet, Bill would lose hugely as they exit his company and may even face lawsuits from unhappy investors.  So I would say that he has a huge financial position at stake, but it’s thinly veiled by the donating it to charity proposal.

Read the New York times article By , and ALEXANDRA STEVENSON.

Notice the sign that reads “Stop Exploiting us”.  Now that takes the cake!  if not like Herbalife is forcing people to sell it’s product…  If they don’t like option, it’s not like they are tied to it?  Where is the exploitation?  Makes me wonder if we are all exploited by the world we live in, and if that word “exploited” is being abused by special interest groups, especially when considering the more real usage of the word?

I disclose that I don’t currently own Herbalife stock, nor do I plan to in the next 30 days.


7 Responses to Why It’s Wrong When Billionaires Try To Destroy Companies

    • I can’t believe that it actually got worse. Not the FTC is investigating Herbalife. While I don’t like Herbalife, I think it’s a viable business model. Oh sure, it’s not a great business model, but at least it’s an options. I think it’s stupid to kill all business models. Eventually there will be no business in America is such tends continue. After all, we (the government and shows like John Stewart) are attacking business like banks and other big companies. I wonder if people realize that big businesses are what make us a super power? After all, A high percentage of small businesses exists because of big businesses…

  1. I guess I really don’t have a problem with it. If the company is worth more in parts then as a whole, aren’t billionaire takeover types really just doing the economy a favor?