PDF Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Streets Bluff (Bloomberg)

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Richard writes, "Before Ackman's involvement, Farmer Mac was rarely mentioned outside of trade publications such as Progressive Farmer and Pork Magazine. Ackman's research landed the company on the front page of the New York Times business section after he spoke with reporter Alison Leigh Cowan about his findings. One meeting between Ms. Cowan and Mr.

Ackman lasted "eight, maybe twelve hours," according to the book. Yet in Ms. Ackman's role as a source isn't mentioned, nor is his fund's short position in the stock. The Farmer Mac battle is a mere prelude, however, to Mr. Here the key journalist seems not to have been anyone at the New York Times, or even Ms.

Richard, who worked for Dow Jones and Bloomberg. No, it was "Marty Peretz, the editor-in-chief of the New Republic magazine, who had been Ackman's thesis adviser when he was an undergraduate at Harvard. Richard doesn't say so, but for those who are interested, the thesis was titled "Scaling the ivy wall : the Jewish and Asian American experience in Harvard admissions. Peretz, reports Ms. Richard became the first investor in Mr.

Confidence Game: How a Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street's Bluff

Ackman's hedge fund after Mr. Ackman "drove from Boston to Peretz's summer house on Cape Cod to pitch him the idea. By Ms. Richard's account, Mr. Peretz wasn't exactly what you'd call a passive investor. After the SEC didn't really follow up on a meeting in which Mr.

Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street's Bluff

Ackman would try another regulator, the attorney general of New York, Eliot Spitzer. Richard reports that in January or February "Ackman, along with Marty Peretz, and Eliot Spitzer were huddled around a small table in the attorney general's office, eating pressed turkey sandwiches. Peretz had arranged the lunch meeting. If Mr. The book recounts Mr. Ackman and his lawyer flying to Boston on June 5, for a meeting with Congressman Frank, with whom they visited only after they "picked up Marty Peretz, who knew Frank from their student days at Harvard. Frank agreed to hold hearings on MBIA.

The whole issue of whether or how Mr. Peretz's business agenda with these regulators affected The New Republic's coverage of them during this period goes unmentioned and unexplored by Ms. The New Republic ran a fawning profile of Mr. Donaldson referring to him as an "unsung hero": "given the speed and effectiveness with which Donaldson has turned around an ailing agency, it's no small stretch to call him the only bright star in the very dim galaxy of the Bush economic team.

Peretz himself wrote an article for the magazine over his own byline, suggesting that Senator Kerry choose Mr. Spitzer as his vice presidential running mate: "Call me hyperbolic, but Spitzer reminds me of Theodore Roosevelt--not the TR of bluster, but the TR of remedy and of vision. Hours of Play:. Tell Us Where You Are:. Preview Your Review. Thank you. Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly. Extra Content.

Confidence Game How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street's Bluff

Table of Contents Preface. The Meeting.

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The Short Seller. The Question. The Worst That Could Happen. The Trouble With Triple-A.

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Unanswered Questions. Crimes and Cockroaches. Turning the Tables. The Court of Public Opinion.

The Insurance Charade. When Crack Houses Become Collateral. Storm Warnings. An Uncertain Spring. Apocalypse Now.

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Parting the Curtain. Ratings Revisited. The Panic Begins. Catastrophe and Revenge. Time Runs Out. Judgment Day.