A question that many have asked themselves and others since Bill Ackman announced he was shorting shake and supplement company Herbalife is, “Okay, but for how long? When does it end?” The Pershing Square founder and his team could very well be right in classifying the organization as a pyramid scheme, but central to their argument is that the government is going to shut this thing down, and that might not happen. Will Pershing keep its position forever? Long after Bill retires and for many years after that? Will CEO Michael Johnson ever be free from this man who haunts his dreams or will Ackman always be there, watching, waiting? In an interview yesterday, the most passionate hedge fund manager to ever live said basically yes to the latter.

Only thing is, it won’t necessarily be a work project in perpetuity.

If I decide for any reason, or no reason, just economically the right thing to do is shut off the position, cover my short, sell the puts that we own, I’ll do that. That’s the right thing to do for investors. But I intend to continue to pursue this personally, philanthropically, if there’s more money needed to investigate or research or litigate or whatever is required I intend to pursue it personally. And I’m fortunate in having the resources to do it.

If anyone at Herbalife thought for even a second Ackman was going to put them out of their misery, they thought wrong. If Pershing is ever out, Bill is still all in. He’ll work on this with the weekend and after-hours ferocity that others reserve only for the fantasy football leagues.

Bill Ackman: I’ll fight Herbalife with personal fortune [CNN Money via Heidi Moore]

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Comments (11)

  1. Posted by Guest | July 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    pursue it philanthropically? only benefitting the lawyers.

  2. Posted by Guest | July 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Shutting Herbalife down would be doing a service to at least 75% of "distributors"

  3. Posted by Guest | July 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    “Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth."
    "What giants?" Asked Sancho Panza.
    "The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."
    "Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."
    "Obviously," replied Don Quijote, "you don't know much about adventures.”
    ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

  4. Posted by Captain Oblivious | July 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Did the CEO of Herbalife fuck Blly's college GF or something? Seems personal.

  5. Posted by andpoundscotch | July 24, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    The fact that he looks like he's 12 and wearing his father's suit does not help his credibility. He should smoke a pack a day for a few years to remedy this.

  6. Posted by Guesteban | July 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Gotta admire his commitment.

  7. Posted by HighFrequencyHater | July 24, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    About this. I'd love to hear an explanation of how the edge in MLM schemes doesn't come from fleecing naive idiots, caselaw aside.

    Still probably a stupid trade, CI and the bandwagon have more chips than you.

  8. Posted by Guest | July 24, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Thanks for telegraphing your trade and helping us make even more money.

    -Icahn Partners

  9. Posted by Ann Couglan | July 25, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    Billy needs to go back to college & re-take Marketing 100, so he can tell the difference between a legit MLM business & an illegal pyramid scheme. I hear Northwestern has a good Business School…

  10. Posted by Jesse Pinkman, CFA | July 25, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    is that you Dan Loeb?

  11. Posted by Guest | July 25, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    He's got to save all of these poor that have been duped by Herbalife so that he will have a balanced Karma as his buddy at Valeant continues his pursuit to cut thousands of American jobs – because you know, making billions at the expense of others is either criminal or just good business, depending on where Ackman's money is…