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Remember, last week, when Bill Ackman gave a presentation about Herbalife, the company he is shorting? And the day prior, went on CNBC to announce the event, telling viewers they would learn “why Herbalife is going to collapse”? And described the presentation as “the most important” one of his career? And back at Pershing Square, told his advisors “fuck the webcast, I want to look into people’s eyes,” upgrading the talk to a live show at the AXA building in midtown? And made the case that, despite having spent hundreds of hours publicly excoriating Herbalife already, this was the event that people needed to see? And noted that he was “raising expectations” but “would not disappoint”? He realizes now it’s possible he should’ve dialed down the enthusiasm just a bit.
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has two words to sum up his Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) presentation last week: “My bad.” Investors may have missed the point because the event was long and overhyped, Ackman said in an interview. Even the private researcher who helped convince Ackman the company is an illegal pyramid scheme now says the details of a two-year investigation into Herbalife’s nutrition clubs were largely ignored. Ackman had promised to show an Enron-style fraud during the event. Instead of dumping the stock, investors sent the shares up 25 percent after the presentation, marking the biggest one-day gain in the history of the company. Ackman’s firm, Pershing Square Capital Management LP, bet $1 billion against the stock in 2012. “It was a PR failure,” Ackman said. “I think we raised expectations. People were looking for the dead body and the smoking gun and instead what they got was a three-hour detailed regulatory presentation.”
Hopefully everyone here has learned a valuable lesson today.
Ackman Says ‘My Bad’ on Herbalife Presentation [Bloomberg]