How to rebuke a national treasure

Since the Yahoo! and Microsoft will-they, wont-they saga I’ve taken a closer interest in uber-investor, Carl Icahn. That most capitalist of papers, The Wall Street Journal, recently wrote a very non-flattering piece about him.

Mr Icahn has blogged his thoughts on the article, tearing the journalist’s (though I doubt he thinks she’s worthy of the noun) opinions apart with fact, insight and obvious relish. All in all it’s a lesson in dressing down with style. A couple of snippets for you:

“…the article was so wrongheaded that I am surprised that it was afforded an appearance in a premier business newspaper. I hope better academic guidance is provided for students in California than that exemplified in the editorial.”
“To imply that these companies’ balance sheets are anemic and debt-strapped is simply not the case. I truly hope Ms. Stout reviews the facts and corrects this kind of distortion that is used to bolster her already weak arguments… Motorola has approximately $7 billion in cash on its balance sheet.”

Reading his blog, you get unbridled access to his thoughts (granted on limited subjects) and are left with the clear impression that this is no absentee businessman. I’m sure he plays golf, or sails, or collects art like others who can afford to, but I bet he knows every inch of his organisations’ KPIs – he probably wrote them.

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