We all know that Bill Ackman is not terribly crazy about Herbalife.
Like when he says, "It’s an embarrassment to the country that this company exists," and gives a pretty strong hint about his feelings, we know that he is out for blood.
So while we're on the topics of Herbalife and national embarrassments, there's some HLF-related news coming out of Albany. Take it away, Chris Bragg of the Times-Union:
On Tuesday, Bronx state Sen. Jeff Klein and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James held a press conference releasing a “bombshell” investigation conducted jointly by their governmental offices into the multinational nutritional sales company Herbalife.
In an adjoining press statement, Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, chair of the body’s finance committee, also bashed the company’s “malicious recruitment tactics” for what the lawmakers contend is a pyramid scheme targeting immigrants in Latino communities.
Klein, James and Ferreras-Copeland have something else in common: All have deep ties to the MirRam Group – a prominent Manhattan-based political consulting and lobbying firm – that is being paid to wage a campaign against Herbalife on behalf of an activist investor that has placed a $1 billion bet against the company’s stock.
An activist investor that would do anything to destroy Herbalife? Even deign to speak with local New York politicians? Is there an easier mystery to solve?
The New York Times reported in 2014 that as part of a massive public relations campaign against Herbalife meant to drive down the stock price, the investor William Ackman’s company, Pershing Square Capital Management, had hired MirRam Group co-founder Luis Miranda.
In recent years. Ackman has made a habit out of throwing money at New York politicians in hopes that they would move against his sworn enemy, but that has ended more than once in embarrassing "conflict of interest" mea culpas. According to Bragg's reporting it appears that Ackman is now using Miranda's statewide political influence to get local pols in line, and he doesn't give a flying f#ck who knows it.
So it's come to this for Bill Ackman. He is now willing to deal in the inefficiently morally repugnant environment that is New York state politics in order to quench his thirst for Herbalife's blood.
Happy Halloween, William.