John Hempton at Bronte Capital (see his blogs here) is going to some lengths to stir up a scandal concerning letters that were authored (or not authored, as it were) by U.S. Senator Edward Markey. In the letters (sent to the SEC and other government agencies), Senator Markey seeks information about a company called Herbalife, and expresses his supposed concerns that Herbalife is engaged in wrong-doing.
Since the senator’s concerns about Herbalife are similar to the concerns that have been expressed by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, and since the senator’s letters seem to have been created on Bill Ackman’s computer, Hempton theorizes that Ackman has captured a U.S. senator, and that Ackman was even able to ghostwrite the senator’s letters about Herbalife and profit from the damage that the letters caused to Herbalife’s stock price.
Far be it from us at DeepCapture to argue with that theory, but it could also be that both Ackman and Hempton (who, like Ackman, is short selling Herbalife stock) are themeselves keen to advertise this “scandal” so as to reinforce the perception that Ackman’s superpowers are such that not just stocks, but also senators follow his commands. Superpowers are all the more super for there being (from the point of view of our captured media) no scandal at all.