Perhaps you noticed that The New York Times spilled a very great deal of ink on Bill Ackman’s crusade against Herbalife on Sunday. In short, sayeth the Grey Lady: Ackman spent $1 billion betting that Herbalife was a fraud and has spent the ensuing 15 months or so asking people in power to prove his hunch.
Posts by Jon Shazar
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you are a member of a long-entrenched board of directors. Perhaps at a company that has been run (ineptly, perhaps) exclusively for the benefit of its ruling family. Then, disaster strikes, and someone—perhaps Carl Icahn, or Dan Loeb, or someone who used to work for Carl Icahn or Dan Loeb—notices just what a corporate governance and/or shareholder value nightmare you’re supposedly to be overseeing.
Now, let’s make the further assumption that all of the outrageous things the aforementioned activist(s) will say about you and the company to which you have a fiduciary duty are true. With that annual meeting coming up and a full slate of dissident director candidates eyeing your board fees, how will you ever convince the shareholders you’ve been screwing to keep you on?
Casting aspersions about the other guys probably won’t work, because, well, people who live in glass houses and all. And there isn’t enough time to make a few token moves to show that you’ve learned a thing or two from the ordeal—and even if there were time, well, you and the cronies just don’t feel like. And now those bastards at the proxy advisors are calling for your head.
Well, thanks to the infallible folks at Moody’s, you’ve now got a whole new argument to trot out: If Carl Icahn or Dan Loeb or one of their protégés take over, we’ll be downgraded, and then the activist trash who take over will have to pay way more to leverage the hell out of the company to pay themselves off, and will leave you the long-term shareholder holding the bag. And it won’t be my fucking problem anymore, because you’ll have kicked me out. So there. Read more »
Everybody’s favorite if embattled digital currency was all set to headline South by Southwest, the two-week-long marketing event that used to be a music festival. But when it arrived, it found it had competition from other fake currencies, notably one represented by a shiba inu. And just as it was set to take center stage, an even greater hero to the anarchist-libertarian-computer programming set beamed his way to Austin from a basement dungeon in the Kremlin, relegating the bitcoiners to a bookstore basement. Read more »
Weaker-willed men (and women?) may say the Fed is tapering too much. That the economy is still vulnerable and in need of stimulation. Philly Fed President Charles Plosser knows better: The problem is not too much tapering but too little, and he is ready to take things a little closer to the scalp. Read more »
On the record, the mudslinging between the aged corporate raider and the online auctioneers remains as nasty as ever, with eBay calling Uncle Carl’s employees and would-be eBay directors unqualified and busier than Marc Andreessen, and Icahn shooting back that CEO John Donahoe is “either incompetent or negligent,” and eBay responding in kind, calling Icahn a liar who is impervious to facts.
Greece’s four big, systemic banks will need another €5.8 billion ($8.0 billion) to shore up their fragile balance sheets, the country’s central bank said Thursday, in order to cope with a growing mountain of bad loans that have become another painful legacy of Greece’s protracted debt crisis.
In a statement, the Bank of Greece said the four banks— National Bank of Greece SA, Piraeus Bank SA, Alpha Bank AE and Eurobank Ergasias SA—would need to present plans by mid-April detailing how they would raise that capital, such as by selling assets, going to the capital markets or appealing for further state aid.