The Senator and the Hedge Fund

WSJ – Americans are unhappy with Congress, but William Ackman may be an exception. The manager of the Pershing Square hedge fund has been trying to drum up federal investigations into Herbalife, HLF -5.38% and Senator Ed Markey has delivered. The Massachusetts Democrat urged federal regulators to investigate Herbalife, and this week Herbalife announced the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company. Nice help if you can get it.

For about a year Mr. Ackman has held short positions in Herbalife stock estimated at $1 billion. Having made his big bet against the firm, he has tried to persuade other investors that the Los Angeles-based nutritional products company is a “pyramid scheme.” Herbalife vehemently denies the charge, and investors like Carl Icahn bought its stock, but this week’s news was profitable for Mr. Ackman as Herbalife shares closed at $57.31 on Thursday from more than $69 Wednesday.

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