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Thread: Herbalife News Stories

  1. #51
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Babener vs Chang re: Herbalife

    Babener wrote an article about Personal use and Chang wrote a rebuttal. Worth the read:

    Babener:

    "HERBALIFE: WHAT SHORT SELLERS MISSED ON THE WAY TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE …
    The Personal Use Issue in Pyramid Analysis Who is an Ultimate User?"

    MLM Law Cases: Herbalife Personal Use Issue - by Jeff Babener, MLM Lawyer

    After Chang's disclaimer:

    "First, a disclaimer. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I'm just a junior skeptic. So my observations on Mr. Babener's bias will not be about his legal analysis... but his biases."
    One of many (potential) biases in Babener's legal analysis Chang points to:

    "Mr. Babener then tried to build a case about how Self-consumption is being recognized on a state level and even to a limited extent by the FTC. He, however, failed to note that it was the DSA's own lobbying effort that is pushing that agenda. And what constitutes "reasonable self-consumption" was left up in the air. A trend is not always right, and this is strangely suggestive of bandwagon fallacy."
    A (MLM) Skeptic: Are You Aware of Your Own Bias? How About MLM Lawyers?

  2. #52
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Ackman outspent by Herbalife in lobbying battle

    Info from article by Svea Herbst-Bayliss

    "Reuters) - Hedge fund manager William Ackman, who is betting $1.16 billion that Herbalife is a fraud, spent $264,000 last year on lobbyists to press his case against the company, according to government documents filed in recent weeks.

    That amount is dwarfed by the nearly $2 million Herbalife spent in 2013 on federal lobbying as the nutrition and weight loss company fought the billionaire investor's claims it runs a pyramid scheme. In an illegal pyramid scheme members earn more for recruiting new members into the scheme than for selling the products outside the network."

    The article details which groups the money was spent on."
    Full article:

    Ackman outspent by Herbalife in lobbying battle | Reuters

  3. #53
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Levers of Power

    From an article in the NY times. This part is especially "wonderful":

    " A Lack of Victims

    The Nevada attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto, was among the many officials who found herself enmeshed in the debate. But as the fight unfolded, with Latino groups holding a news conference in East Las Vegas demanding that she investigate Herbalife, she had some questions.

    She says she was struck by the appeals for an investigation of Herbalife, at first directly from representatives for Mr. Ackman’s firm and then from others: All three of the letters from nonprofit groups demanding an investigation were identical — except they were signed by three different Hispanic community leaders, each on a different letterhead.
    Continue reading the main story

    When Ms. Masto invited the Hispanic leaders to meet with her individually, none of them could identify a victim of abusive practices.

    “We are not going to move forward unless we have victims,” she told the community leaders."
    Here's a tip Ms. Masto: Internet 101

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/bu...down.html?_r=0

  4. #54
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Herbalife Again Defends Business Model - Accuses Ackman of...something...?

    "Monday's Times article, headlined "After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Levers of Power," notes Mr. Ackman's "extraordinary attempt to leverage of corridors of power - in Washington, state capitols and city halls - for his hedge fund's profit."

    In response to the article, Herbalife said there should now be no question about Mr. Ackman's motives.

    "Ackman's unprecedented campaign to destroy Herbalife has now been exposed for what it is: a cynical, self-serving attempt to manipulate the market by buying his way into an investigation to cover his own reckless $1 billion bet," the company said."
    original story:
    Herbalife Again Defends Business Model - WSJ.com

    Herbalife's short-term memory gag:
    Herbalife donated money to 5 supportive Hispanic groups | New York Post

    Suggestion for Herbalife if they fail to disclose money donated to supportive groups in the future:


  5. #55
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    ICahn says Ackman's attack on Herbalife borders on the insane.

    "Investor Carl Icahn discusses Bill Ackman's battle to bring down Herbalife. Icahn says Ackman's attack is unfounded, relentless and fraudulent."
    ...And almost borders on the insane:

    Icahn: Ackman's Herbalife attack borders on insane | Watch the video - Yahoo Finance

  6. #56
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Ackman to Show Internal Documents in Herbalife China Webcast

    "Billionaire Bill Ackman, who will make a presentation tomorrow on Herbalife Ltd.’s Chinese operations, said he plans to discuss company documents obtained from a former employee.

    Ackman believes the documents will show that Herbalife violated China’s laws regulating direct selling and multilevel marketing, the hedge fund manager said today in an interview. He declined to elaborate. The webcast presentation is scheduled for 2 p.m. New York time. "
    Ackman to Show Internal Documents in Herbalife China Webcast - Bloomberg

  7. #57
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Fortune writer questions NY Times coverage of Ackman vs Herbalife

    "Questioning Bill Ackman's Herbalife profit motive
    By Stephen Gandel, senior editor March 10, 2014: 2:59 PM ET

    "The Times seems to have spent a fair amount of time reporting the story. It has a triple byline, and it includes a comparison of five letters signed by others sympathetic to Ackman's cause that suggests that they may have all been written by the same person. (Someone who works for Ackman? The article doesn't say, but that's where the reader is being led.) One of the letters is signed by someone who claims it wasn't written or sent by him.

    And yet there's almost nothing in the article about whether Herbalife is indeed a pyramid scheme. Nor does it address the veracity of any of Ackman's other allegations about the company. The Times just says in passing that others have made similar claims about the company. It also says that it has been hard for others to find Herbalife victims. But it doesn't say whether it tried. Isn't that what journalists do better than others, particularly the Times?"
    Questioning Bill Ackman's Herbalife profit motive - The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet

  8. #58
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Ackman March 11, 2014 Conference Call/Webcast

    Ackman Tuesday March 11, 2014 Conference Call and Webcast 2:00 PM EDT

    Herbalife in China Event Registration | Facts About Herbalife

  9. #59
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Press Release: Pershing Square Issues Statement

    Press release from Pershing Square:

    "Pershing Square believes that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme based on over two years of research. We continue to share our research and findings with regulators, policymakers, law enforcement and other interested parties to shine a light on the company's and its distributors' illegal practices.

    In an article today, Herbalife's Chief Financial Officer, John DeSimone, told the New York Times that Pershing Square's "accusations are provably false." Yet, Herbalife has failed to respond to basic questions that we and others have continued to raise.

    Herbalife has refused to release actual retail sales information that it requires its distributors to maintain, instead relying on third party survey data. Herbalife has refused to address the documented false and misleading sales practices plied by its senior-most distributors, including John Tartol, a current member of Herbalife's Board of Directors. Despite documented evidence to the contrary, Herbalife continues to deny that it targets minority communities, including Latinos throughout the United States. Moreover, Herbalife continues to deny that its pays recruiting rewards, despite the fact that recruiters are paid cash commissions when a new distributor qualifies for the business opportunity through mandatory inventory purchases.

    Tomorrow, at 2:00 p.m. EDT we will present evidence of Herbalife's violations of laws in China.

    We look forward to Herbalife's evidence that our accusations are "provably false.""

  10. #60
    nomaxim's Avatar
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    Re: Press Release: Pershing Square Issues Statement

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. -C. Darwin

  11. #61
    NikSam is offline AntiCon Artist
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    Re: Herbalife News Stories

    Oh, such a great ride on the NYSE today :)

    HLF_STOCK.jpg

  12. #62
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    Re: Herbalife News Stories

    This story was actually on the network news this morning and I was surprised to see the coverage. Not all of them have picked up on it yet but a Google search came up with this article. Must be the same as covered by BBC from #60.

    This one was CNBC Herbalife says FTC opens inquiry; shares slump

    Looks like they have their distributors all over the comments.
    Don't get ripped off!! Stay informed!

  13. #63
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    Re: Herbalife News Stories

    Just received notification from one of my favorite blogs covering the latest news. I still get zero notifications from RS.

    ASDUpdates.com » Blog Archive » Reuters: Herbalife admits FTC Inquiry
    Don't get ripped off!! Stay informed!

  14. #64
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Herbalife Postpones Shareholders Meeting To April 29

    "(Reuters) - Nutritional products company Herbalife Ltd (HLF.N), which is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, said it postponed its annual shareholders' meeting to April 29 to continue discussions with Carl Icahn about new board nominees.

    The meeting was originally scheduled for April 24.

    Herbalife shares were up about 1 percent in extended trading on Thursday.

    Carl Icahn, the company's biggest shareholder with a 16.8 percent stake, has supported Herbalife in its fight against billionaire investor William Ackman.

    Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management believes Herbalife is an unsustainable pyramid scheme destined to collapse. Icahn has contended that it is a good company with good management.

    Herbalife gave Icahn two board seats in February 2013 and the right to raise ownership of the company to 25 percent.

    The activist investor's publicly traded investment vehicle Icahn Enterprises' (IEP.O) new Chief Executive Keith Cozza is already a director on Herbalife's board.

    Herbalife shares closed at $57.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.

    (Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)"
    Herbalife postpones shareholders meeting to April 29 | Reuters

  15. #65
    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: Herbalife News Stories

    One would hate to think Icahns' very public increasing involvement will have an effect on any ongoing FTC investigation.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

  16. #66
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Herbalife worried that it could a ‘a year of hell’ for shareholders

    "They are worried about state attorney generals [sic] coming in there and launching piggyback probes off this. It’s a huge worry inside the company,” said Charles Gasparino on the Fox Business News, who has contacts inside the company. “They are worried that this is going to be a year of hell for Herbalife shareholders that the stock is going to continue to get hit on these probes.”
    Full article:
    Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) Allegedly Worried About

  17. #67
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Major League Soccer's Potential Black Eye: Herbalife

    "Wednesday's announcement by nutrition company Herbalife should have MLS executives scrambling to do damage control."
    ...
    "This isn't just any soccer club caught up in a potential fiscal fiasco – this is the face of the league. The Galaxy's success has been a primary booster for the national and global MLS brand; as the team wrote in its 2012 press release announcing the sponsorship extension: “The Galaxy have emerged as a truly international brand with worldwide recognition. The club continues to be the benchmark by which all others are measured in Major League Soccer.”

    Herbalife is the official jersey sponsor of the Galaxy, who have several players on the list of the top-selling MLS jerseys. The partnership had only grown stronger in recent months, highlighted by the October launch of the “Be a Pro” Web series, a dual effort to enter the arena of branded content."
    Full story:

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/busi...-eye-herbalife

  18. #68
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Markey may have exaggerated claims about Herbalife

    "Michael Araujo, a 60-year-old Norton resident, said the $130,000 cited by Markey is an inflated number that includes rent payments and other living expenses he incurred after he was laid off in 2010 from his job as a vice president of contract management at a bank. He said the senator’s staff relied on information provided by his wife, who did not work on the business.

    'I think she exaggerates sometimes,' said Araujo, who did not speak with anyone on Markey’s staff.'"

    Senator Edward Markey did little to vet claims of constituents he cited as victims of Herbalife sales practices - Nation - The Boston Globe

    Thanks for the important "fact finding" story Noah Bierman.

    Meanwhile, on planet Earth...

    The Salty Droid – Herbalife :: Profit and Loss

  19. #69
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Douglas Brooks comment on Boston Globe Op-Ed Piece

    Joan Vennochi, a writer for the Boston Globe sticks with the easy story "Don’t let Markey hedge on Herbalife" while (intentionally?) ignoring the elephant in the room.

    Douglas Brooks, says:

    "Mr. Bierman deserves kudos for a good piece of reporting on Senator Markey and Herbalife.

    Both of you, however, have missed the bigger story, and it does involve lobbying. In 2006, when the Federal Trade Commission first proposed its Business Opportunity Rule, the regulation would have required MLM firms to make some minimal disclosures concerning their business opportunities to prospective distributors. The MLM industry, led by Herbalife, waged an intensive, multi-million dollar lobbying campaign to win an exemption from the Biz Op Rule, arguing that being required to disclose the truth about distributor attrition rates and losses would hurt their business.

    The losses suffered by victims of MLM scams are persistent and real. I and a few other consumer advocates have been advocating for better regulation and disclosure in the MLM industry for almost twenty years, but until Mr. Ackman got involved the lobbying efforts of Herbalife and other MLM firms had prevented any effective regulation.

    As an example of the losses suffered by MLM distributors I can refer you to an Affidavit filed by a class action claims administrator in a case I litigated against Herbalife about 10 years ago. It is no longer available on PACER or on the FTC’s site (where I filed it) but is available here: http://factsaboutherbalife.com/wp-co...st-23-2005.pdf The Affidavit explains how the claims administrator evaluated the claims, based on data from income tax returns, and lists the allowed claims, many of which are in the tens of thousands of dollars. A total of approximately 2400 class members suffered losses of approximately $19 million.

    I can also refer you to a white paper on MLM regulation that two of my colleagues and I just completed and forwarded to Senator Markey’s office. It is available at http://pyramidschemealert.org/wordpr...stry-FINAL.pdf The white paper details how MLM loss rates are typically in the range of 99% and how current FTC enforcement policy is not sufficient to protect consumers.

    I have met Mr. Ackman but I do not represent him and was not “lobbied” by anyone to write this comment."
    And as another commenter said:

    " BrooklineTom03/16/14 10:48 AM

    Horsefeathers. Conspicuously absent from this column is the fundamental truth about Herbalife -- it is a pyramid scheme based on snake-oil. Ms. Vennochi joins Mr. Bierman in ignoring the obvious in their desire to score points with right wing. Those who find this kind of investing unsavory should perhaps focus their attention on hedge funds and how they make money, and live politics and politicians out of it.

    The most obvious explanation for this "scandal" is that Herbalife is an over-valued scam on the verge of collapse -- making it a prime target for market manipulators like Mr. Ackman. That same reality makes it a clear and present threat to consumers -- making it a prime target for a Senator doing a fine job of protecting the interests of his constituents from fraud and near-fraud.

    Mr. Ackman and Mr. Markey probably also agree that the Apollo program put astronauts on the moon. Neither set of facts is a conspiracy to defraud the public, and neither is any sort of scandal."
    Original Op-ed "piece":

    Don’t let Markey hedge on Herbalife - Opinion - The Boston Globe

    It seems as if something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  20. #70
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    William Keep Calls FTC Response Namby Pamby. :-)

    "Ackman’s presentation came along. In the time since, Keep has become more active in the field. In the past year, he twice wrote to the FTC, one of the principal authorities in policing product-based pyramid schemes, and urged it to strengthen its regulations of the direct sales industry to squeeze out fraudsters.

    "The rule of caveat emptor cannot be the main line of protection for people who have fewer life-changing opportunities and are attracted to seemingly lucrative schemes that rely on asymmetric information and labyrinth-like compensation structures," he wrote in June of last year.

    In return, Keep said he received "some namby-pamby response" from the agency, highlighting some of the recent cases it has brought against alleged pyramid schemes.

    Despite the billions of dollars at stake in the Herbalife debate, Keep says he has no interest other than seeing pyramid schemes pushed out of the industry."
    In Ackman vs. Herbalife drama, NJ professor gets cameo role

    In Ackman vs. Herbalife drama, NJ professor gets cameo role | NJ.com

  21. #71
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Boston Globe continues its focus on Senator Markey - completely ignoring Herbalife questions

    "Markey sits on two Senate committees focused on business and commerce, so how could he have missed one of the biggest Wall Street stories over the past 15 months"
    "why would Ackman and his lobbyists approach the senator in the first place to pursue an investigation of Herbalife as a pyramid scheme? Certainly not for the common good. You don’t make billions of dollars doing that."
    Markey, the hedge fund, and Herbalife: Oh, there’s a scheme here, all right - Letters - The Boston Globe

  22. #72
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Herbalife Realizes Some Questions Need Answering

    Good article by Jonathan Weil at BloomBergView about (possibly) why Herbalife waited to release information about the FTC investigation.

    Herbalife Realizes Some Questions Need Answering - Bloomberg View

  23. #73
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Republican lodges ethics complaint against rival over Herbalife

    "By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

    The Massachusetts Republican candidate for Democratic U.S. Senator Edward Markey's seat on Monday filed an ethics complaint against his rival on the grounds he may have acted improperly in asking regulators to investigate nutrition company Herbalife."
    "All you have to do is connect the dots to easily see that Senator Markey used his public office to manipulate the stock of a publicly traded company in order to financially benefit a campaign donor," Herr said."
    "Ackman, who runs the $12 billion hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, donates money to both main political parties. In 2013, he gave $32,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He donated $20,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign donations."
    Full story:
    Republican lodges ethics complaint against rival over Herbalife

  24. #74
    JustTooMuchTime is offline Senior Scambuster
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    Bill Ackman's Herbalife Short Bet Gets 30 Percent Better

    "Ackman’s campaign against Herbalife, which he calls a pyramid scheme, has not faded away. Instead, Ackman has reclaimed the momentum in the war over the diet shake seller. Shares of Herbalife fell by 7.8% on Monday and have now plunged by 32% in 2014. Ackman’s big short position against Herbalife has helped fuel his Pershing Square’s returns this year. That is pretty much the opposite of how 2013 went for Ackman, when the returns of his hedge fund were drastically hurt by the nearly 140% increase in Herbalife’s stock."
    Bill Ackman's Herbalife Short Bet Gets 30 Percent Better - Forbes

  25. #75
    Whip's Avatar
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    Re: Herbalife News Stories

    How is he not in trouble for stock manipulation?

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