This weekend’s New York Times profile of Carl Icahn is required reading for all market participants. In it, the question “Does Icahn Still Make Them Tremble?” is both asked and answered. This, along with some candid quotations from the master himself…
“There’s a misperception out there that we bust up companies. Or that I believe that all people on boards are bad,” growls Mr. Icahn, the 74-year-old investor, as he sets a coffee cup on a small mahogany table in his office on the 47th floor of a Midtown Manhattan tower. “It’s just that, in some cases, the C.E.O.’s are so wrong,” he grumbles, then quickly flashes a big smile and laughs at his own joke.
While Mr. Icahn likes to pull out his Rodney Dangerfield-esque why-can’t-I-get-any-respect? routine, he has over the years perfected the art of stirring up trouble for companies and making money — sometimes lots of it — for his investors and himself.
We hear from both supporters and detractors of Icahn’s methods in the piece. My pal Eric Jackson of Ironfire Capital gets some comments in as well -most notably, about his disappointment with how the Yahoo ($YHOO) campaign went down.
We are all fortunate to be in the markets during this era, in which we get to watch Icahn as he paints several masterpieces of shareholder activism at once.