All of the qualities that have defined Bill Ackman as a hedge fund manager—in particular, the willingness to follow a cause to the bitter end—are now appearing in his Twitter crusade against M.I.T. and Business Insider. In today’s issue, my thoughts on where Ackman’s warpath might lead, the latest developments in the Peltz vs. Iger proxy war, and Jimmy Pitaro’s nearly $1 billion megadeal with the NCAA.
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If I’ve learned anything about Bill Ackman over the 11 years I’ve known him, he’s a pitbull in sheep’s clothing. Outwardly, and most of the time, he is refined, polite, thoughtful, even caring. But once the bit is in the mouth, watch out; he doesn’t easily let go of it. He fought the Herbalife fight for years, even though it was clear relatively quickly, and certainly once Carl Icahn and Dan Loeb took the other side of the trade, that he was fighting a losing battle. And lose he did—to the tune of $1 billion. Not to be outdone by that loss, he then rode...
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