Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Just how weak are Bill Ackman's examples?

Bill Ackman's ad nauseum attack on Herbalife has become a parody of itself. It has been widely acknowledge that Bill Ackman has had problems finding victims. He got the Nevada Attorney General interested but she told consumer activists that she was not going ahead without victims.

Ackman's websites however are truly strained. Here is a section from his profile of distributor Michael Burton. I am quoting verbatim:

The Burtons’ businesses do considerable damage to consumers.  Consumer complaints regarding Global Home Business Systems, for example, are particularly revealing:

End quote:

Please read these links. In the first one the person has been ripped off for $9.95 - and not $9.95 he paid to Herbalife. The $9.95 was paid to Burton.

In the second link it was $50 - but there is considerably less documentation.

This constitutes, and I am quoting Ackman's site again: "considerable damage to consumers".

Seriously - this is the strength of material on which he has bet his reputation and the existence of Pershing Square. I have a staff member who I recruited from America and whom Verizon Wireless charged $15 for data consumed after he had left the country. On this basis I encourage a billion dollar bet against Verizon...

By contrast, every distributor in Ackman's documentary lost serious amounts of money - but the money lost was not lost to Herbalife. It was lost to distributors Herbalife has now sacked. It seems -- that at least with respect to the material in the documentary Ackman is fighting yesteryear's battles.



Anonymous said...

meanwhile - back on "Seeking Alpha".......

Herbalife's Astonishing Response
May. 5, 2014 10:04 AM ET | About: HLF
Disclosure: I am short HLF. (More...)

Pershing's documentary on Friday focused on middle class folks bilked out of their money under the guise of a "work from home" scam.
The company's perverse response was appalling, disturbing, and even more inviting for the FTC to step in and prevent these cases from occurring again.
The company continues to attack its critics instead of working on real world solutions for retail tracking and MLM reform.
Lies, deception and false claims to sell the Herbalife business opportunity are "par for the course" at Herbalife, and in the case of John Tartol, rewarded with Board seats.
In the course of Herbalife flailing about and attempting to defend itself, the company has looted all equity from itself, leaving little for reparations to those who have been harmed.
Pershing's Documentary Puts Faces on the Issue

If you haven't watched Pershing Square's documentary inclusive of testimonials of real life Herbalife distributors, you can watch the video in its entirety here.

If possible, I'd recommend taking a look at it before reading through the rest of this article. If you're not as blown back by the testimonials of these brave individuals that came forward, I don't know what's going to convince you that Herbalife preys on good natured people.

The more the Herbalife saga plays on, the less amused I am by the way unsuspecting people are parted from their money in a fraudulent manner. The further we get into this saga and the more evidence presented, the more perverse the company's response seems to be. It's almost as if they have no idea of the harm they're ultimately causing.

Anonymous said...

John, Does this mean you're no longer optimistic on telco's? Seriously.

Anonymous said...


The day HLF loses +50% value, will you admit you were wrong?

Anonymous said...

And the short beat goes on at "Getting Beta"...

Josh said...

Well I really loved your BBB example. That really did damage to your credibility in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Money lost by duped distributors IS lost to Herbalife...whether it travels through an upline distributor or not is moot. Herbalife aids, abets and facilitates the entire process, knowing all along the lies that support the recruiting of downline victims...think RICO.

Anonymous said...

do the majority of distributors, as a whole, earn a profit from retailing? i don't care about HLF commissioned surveys about the number of happy customers or how many people someone sees drinking shakes in a club. when you come to realize that there is no retail profit for distributors as a whole, the only conclusion is that HLF is a pyramid scheme. and then you understand why the company goes to such extremes to point at everything else (return policy, re-training, 34 yrs in business, ti tat tit tat) in order to distract from the key reason why the vast majority churn out each year; because when they decide to go for the business opportunity they quickly realize their is not profit and they fail. that is the core fraud, and everything done in support of that is fraud as well.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile back at the ranch THE STOCK WAS UP TODAY.....bill stiritz, carl Icahn, George soros and several other billionaires who are long the stock and selling puts have done their own investigation...this group of billionaires have a lot better investigators, lawyers, and analysts than the government could ever hire.. do you think Icahn would have put so many on the hlf board if he had not done a thorough investigation...DUE DILIGENCE..it is what these billionaires do and they do it very well, ackman on the other hand NOT SO MUCH I use j c penny , target. and now hlf as my examples...these billionaires just keep selling puts and the puts just keep expiring worthless.. and once these investigations end and hlf gets a fine and a slap on the wrist the stock goes to 100 bucks a share and all the shorts will be SQUEEEEEZED lie volkswagon was..this is going to make a great movie once it is over....one more thing...only 18 percent of hlf sales are in the united states so WHAT IS THE WORST POSSIBLE OUTCOME?? they lose 18 percent of there sales...IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR IT TO GO TO ZERO...up 5 percent today

Tex said...

Herbalife operates very similar to Amway, the world's largest MLM scam: www.stoptheamwaytoolscam.wordpress.com

Zic the Wyrdo said...

@Bronte Capital:

"By contrast, every distributor in Ackman's documentary lost serious amounts of money - but the money lost was not lost to Herbalife. It was lost to distributors Herbalife has now sacked."

Yes, but that's the *WHOLE* *POINT* isn't it?

How many distributors (recruiters) are their out their trying to recruit other poor folks to sell Herbalife?

How many?

And there is no direct oversight is there? And, since none of these people actually works for Herbalife, none of them can really be fired can they?

I.e.: Fundamentally, due to the very *NATURE* of MLM there is a *SEVERE* lack of accountability from the distributor/recruiters back to The Company (Herbalife).

So naturally, if any distributors (recruiters) actually get caught making false and misleading claims, Herbalife will distance itself... from *those* individuals. (duh)

And what is there to stop the next distributor from lying?

It is a B.A.D. (Broken As Designed) system specifically rigged to monetarily incentive lying, deceit, back-stabbing, and willful blindness to endemic corruption.

Willful blindness... exactly like the kind you exhibit regarding Herbalife, @Bronte Capital.

Furry cows moo and decompress.

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