My thinking on Carl Icahn changes day to day but my current model is that he is a man who after a long and successful career in money management retired in March of 2011 to spend more time on his hobbies. And that his hobbies are irritating Bill Ackman, hijacking public company M&A deals, and threatening his foes with “years of litigation.”1 I’ve got nothing against Bill Ackman, but otherwise that sounds like my dream retirement too.
We talked about Icahn’s Dell stake a little yesterday; I predicted that today Ackman would announce that Dell is a pyramid scheme, and I will award myself partial credit insofar as today a well-known short seller did come out calling Dell a bad and plummeting-cash-flow company, though not quite a pyramid scheme. But as for Icahn’s plans I’m still a bit lost, though his letter to Dell’s board has now been made public. This is the core proposal: Read more »