Given the verbal firepower leveled against him by Carl Icahn three years ago—“little Jewish crybaby in the schoolyard,” “I wouldn’t invest with you if you were the last man on earth,” “complete bullshit”—the mildness of Bill Ackman’s counter-volleys was kind of amazing, in retrospect: “Not a handshake guy.” “No interest in being his friend.” “Does not keep his word.” Which makes it all the more surprising that, with his current nemesis, it took relatively no time at all for Ackman to adjudge John Hempton “certifiable.”
And while the accuracy of Dr. Ackman's diagnosis is unclear, the Pershing Square manager is apparently not the only one with a few unkind things to say about Hempton. There's also his wife and kids:
Retired at 39, Hempton says he co-founded Bronte in 2009 when his wife threatened to divorce him if he didn’t get out of the house….
“I am eccentric,” Hempton said. “My wife thinks I’m weird. My son thinks I’m weird,” he said. “On the surf beach it doesn’t matter that I’ve made some enemies. It genuinely doesn’t matter. It would be nicer if people thought highly of me than not highly of me but it really doesn’t matter.”
Sorry, John, but Bill’s just not feeling very nice these days.
Hempton is “certifiably crazy,” Ackman wrote last year in an e-mail released by U.S. lawmakers as part of a Valeant hearing, discussing whether Bronte was shorting the drugmaker because he was an investor.