David Einhorn is a man of ideas, and like many men of ideas, he is underappreciated in his own time. As with Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche before him, the Greenlight Capital chief’s intellectual thunderbolts brought about fear and derision rather than enlightenment and acceptance. The forces of backwardness and darkness know how to play the game by the stale, staid rules David Einhorn seeks to break free of with mind-bending dual-share-class proposals.
“They beat us in public relations, they managed to get the rating agencies on their side, they got their sound bites better than ours,” Einhorn said at the Capitalize for Kids Investors Conference in Toronto on Wednesday. “It just means we really didn’t do an effective job in getting our story across.”
The hedge fund kept escalating its case on GM to no avail, the co-founder of Greenlight Capital said. “So now we’re out of people who might want to hear us, so we’re just going to be quiet about it,” he said, adding that he remains convinced the “idea is still great” and that GM is Greenlight’s biggest holding.
Still, even the greatest of humanity’s intellectual giants get the occasional thing wrong. Obviously, Einhorn isn’t giving up on his splitting dividends and buybacks into separate shares idea, but he is willing to admit that SunEdison was not an idea before it’s time—it was just a bad one.
Einhorn also said Wednesday that he fundamentally got his bet on SunEdison Inc. wrong.