In the span of roughly 48 hours this week, The New York Mets lost a baseball game by the score 0f 25-4 and the Tesla Motor Company saw its stock surge despite a quarterly result that would have been problematic for literally almost any other business.
No one in the world took those two things harder in combination than David M. Einhorn. As a lifelong, committed Mets fan and one of the world's most vocal Tesla short-sellers, Einhorn had a week from Hell. And that's not just us bullshitting. He wrote a letter to his Greenlight Capital investors admitting how dark his world has become, and that was before aging relic and shortstop Jose Reyes took the mound to pitch for the Mets in DC on Tuesday afternoon. We aren't going to even confront what Tesla did to his psyche but we will quote his thoughts on the car company from his aforementioned cry in the darkness investor letter:
Speaking of TSLA, by all available evidence, the company has had a difficult year. TSLA has had trouble demonstrating efficient production, and it has delayed capital spending which pushes out future growth opportunities in the Model Y and the Semi...We doubt the entry-level Model 3 will be produced profitably anytime soon, if ever.
The letter also went out of its way to mention that Einhorn had given up his own Model S and outright called Elon Musk "erratic and desperate." TSLA is up about 16% on the week. Einhorn remains short the stock.
But it's not just Tesla that ails Einhorn, Greenlight is down more than 18% on the year and it feels like eons since David has been the value investing peacock that we all once knew. At this point, it's hard to argue that Einhorn is in a slump and easier to prove that his swing is just gone. He's been breathtakingly frank and self-aware with his own investors - and presumably himself - that the market is not working in his favor because his ideas are no longer the kind of ideas that the market favors. Factor in that Einhorn is not a famously flexible thinker and it becomes increasingly difficult to see him climbing back atop the asset management heap. But what if he didn't have to? What if he didn't even try?
We come not to kick dirt in Einhorn's face at his lowest moment, but to offer him a new path. A way to dust himself off and set himself on a new journey towards real joy.
Some might remember a few years ago when David Einhorn attempted to buy a large stake in the Mets after ownership found itself victimized by Bernie Madoff. Einhorn seemed electric with excitement at the time, a man about to achieve some version of a boyhood dream. In fairness, Einhorn was also at the top of his investing game back then, feeling his powers and ready to take on whatever came next. But some might also remember that the whole thing fell apart in the eleventh hour. According to Einhorn's account at the time, the Wilpons attempted to play hardball with a skillset that neither they nor their team possessed and Einhorn walked away from the deal. Some hacky reporter even spoke to Einhorn the day that deal fell apart and it was clear that he was truly bummed to have missed out on the opportunity to own his beloved Mets.
Fast forward today and we would argue that Einhorn would pay good money to feel only that bad about his place in the world.
But what if he could?
Greenlight Capital is bringing Einhorn nothing but pain these days, and he can't possibly find refuge in watching his beloved Mets put on their nightly carnival of shitshow slapstick. So why not cash in one form of pain to fix the other?
David Einhorn needs to shut down Greenlight today, take whatever he has left, put together a scrappy cabal of loyal investors and buy the New York Mets.
Becoming a full-time baseball team owner would rescue Einhorn from the day-to-day torment of hedge fund life and allow him to seek Alpha in the NL East standings. Value investing might be dead on Wall Street, but a man with Einhorn's brain for risk and stats could live out his days in total delight working with his staff to evaluate Single-A outfielders and projecting the long-term performance of elite free agents. Will D-Hornz still be able to make what he was making at Greenlight? No. But will he be happier? Unquantifiably. Especially after he turns the Mets into an unstoppable dynasty and becomes BFFs with Keith Hernandez.
Sure, this plan might seem to have a few logical road bumps, but we aren't concerned.
The Wilpons don't want to sell? Let's answer that with the obvious counterpoint: Who fucking cares? Major League Baseball should have removed them years ago. Also, they'd be insane not to jump on a big enough number. Einhorn can still raise money so we think he could put together something that even a business genius like Jeff Wilpon couldn't refuse. Maybe he could even get Bill Ackman involved [another man in need of simple pleasures] and sick him on current ownership. In the end, forcing out the Wilpons would be David's last big active maneuver, and he would be welcomed by Mets fans as a liberator.
What if he gets bored? We're positing that Einhorn becomes the Mark Cuban of baseball; a non-stop quote machine and face of the franchise who is draped around the organization like a benevolent dictator. A Steinbrenner 2.0, but borderline reasonable. Where's the boredom there? And if he really feels the yearn to move money, there's always a family office that gets super-active from late October through early February every year.
Where will he get the money? Don't be a dick. It's Friday.
This is the plan, for David Einhorn and the Mets. Einhorn gets to stop doing what makes him miserable, the team gets rid of the family that makes it miserable and everyone is happy. Like that time David sued Apple.