Ackman, Icahn Battle It Out In CNBC Smackdown [VIDEO]
The second half of Friday’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” on CNBC was eruptive as an episode of Jerry Springer with two baby-daddies, a midget and a pole dancer. As Pershing Square Capital Management head Bill Ackman and multibillionaire Carl Icahn nearly came to blows, it would have been fitting for audience members to chant host Scott Wapner’s name.
The 30-minute financial version of Friday Night Smackdown related to a dispute over Ackman’s short position on Herbalife—the nutritional supplement and dietary product company Ackman has called a pyramid scheme. Icahn—who has not released his position but is said to be long on the company—criticized Ackman’s stance.
“He’s looking for a company to destroy,” said Icahn. “He’s basically lying. (Herbalife) could be the mother of all short-squeezes.”
Soon, however, personal tensions bubbled over, as the two began bickering over a 10-year-old legal dispute that resulted in Icahn paying Ackman’s investor’s $4.5 million plus interest. Icahn called Ackman dishonest and a “major loser,” Ackman accused Icahn of being a bully “not used to someone standing up to him.”
At one point Ackman said Icahn did him a favor by picking on him. Icahn responded by calling Ackman a “crybaby in the school yard.” “I’m telling you he’s like a crybaby in the schoolyard. I went to a tough school in Queens you know and they used to beat up the little Jewish boys. He was like one of the little Jewish boys crying that the world is taking advantage of him…”
“I’ve really sort of had it with this Ackman guy,” Icahn told Wapner.
“Carl, you think I want to invest with you?” Ackman later said.
“I wouldn’t invest with you if you were the last man on Earth!” Icahn shouted.
Watching the men bounce insults back and forth was like watching the Williams sisters play in a singles match.
“He’s the quintessential example that on Wall Street, if you want a friend, get a dog,” Icahn said of Ackman.
“What I thank Carl for is he helped highlight issues with Herbalife,” Ackman said.
The insults continued with Icahn saying,“I appreciate Bill that you called me a great investor. I thank you for that. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for you.”
Who won the “Battle of the Billionaires?” According to CNBC, Herbalife came out the champion. The company’s share surged as much has $2.15 during the half-hour spectacle.
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