The difference between chutzpah and stupidity

The difference between chutzpah and stupidity

If nothing else one must admire Carl Icahn’s tenacity, no longer content just to shot his mouth off that Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) is not selling itself fast enough, no this aging corporate raider and bigmouth is now suing Amylin.  According to the Associated Press;

“Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is suing Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., saying he and other shareholders should get more time to nominate candidates to the diabetes drug maker’s board of directors.

Icahn said Monday that Amylin is “at a crossroads” and stockholders deserve a chance to nominate new directors. The activist investor said he wants to nominate directors who will listen to offers for the company and accused the current board of diluting the value of Amylin shares. He filed a lawsuit against the San Diego company in Delaware court.”

Diabetic Investor is a little surprised that a man of Icahn’s advanced age would not understand that as valuable as Amylin is, selling the company is not an easy task IF they are truly interested in getting maximum value for their shareholders. One just might think the LAST thing the Amylin board wants to do is accept the first offer that comes along without fully investigating whether or not there are other companies interested in making a bid. In fact, Diabetic Investor believes it would be irresponsible if Amylin accepted any bid that came in without fully investigating whether or not there are other companies who would like to join the bidding process.

Considering that Mr. Icahn is already a billionaire several times over and one of the richest people on the planet, one just might think he would not be in hurry to add to his net worth. It’s also somewhat surprising that he is suing a company and a board of directors that he himself helped construct.  There is no doubt as a major investor in the company, Mr. Icahn owns nearly 9% of the company and is its third largest shareholder, is entitled to be heard, however one has to wonder why he is in such a hurry to see the company sold.

Frankly Diabetic Investor does not believe there is anything Amylin could do that would make Mr. Icahn happy, which is strange considering that one just might think with his vast wealth Mr. Icahn would be a very happy camper. The fact is their damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Suppose the situation was different and a bidding war erupted for Amylin. It’s likely that Mr. Icahn would sue claiming that the company did not hold out for the highest price possible and that the board acted too quickly.

To Diabetic Investor it seems as if Mr. Icahn has been infected with the “I want to see myself on television disease”, a common aliment when a person overestimates their importance and begins to believe the crap that is coming out of their mouths. Anyone who truly believes that Mr. Icahn is interested in anything but increasing his own personal net worth should truly consider getting professional help.  This latest lawsuit has nothing to do with shareholder rights or protecting the little guy against the evil empire, it’s just one more way for Mr. Icahn to get some attention and see himself on TV. Frankly we’re beginning to wonder if Mr. Icahn has abandonment issues or whether he has attention deficit disorder, as he sure does crave to be in the spotlight.

The bottom line here is there a difference between chutzpah and stupidity. While there is no way anyone can reasonably claim that Mr. Icahn is stupid, he is not, his actions go well beyond mere chutzpah. When this is all over and Amylin is sold, Diabetic Investor is willing to bet that Mr. Icahn big mouth and zest for attention actually were a negative in the process and had he kept his mouth shut and let the process play out the sale price would have been actually been larger. Alias we’ll never know as everyone seems afraid to tell the truth fearing somehow that Mr. Icahn and his minions will come after them.

What history tells us is that the many of the companies Mr. Icahn invests in sell because they want to get rid of his constant complaining. They know he will use his billions to torment them and will be relentless until they finally capitulate. He will then claim victory and go on television telling anyone who will listen how he helped shareholders receive what they deserved, when in fact no one knows what would have happened had Mr. Icahn shared his concerns in private and let the process move forward without his highly public actions.

Sadly we’ll never know what would have happened had Mr. Icahn kept his overly large mouth shut. There is no question Amylin will be sold, the only question is to whom and at what price. Based on his previous actions don’t be surprised if Mr. Icahn reluctantly takes his profits, states that while the price wasn’t what he hoped for it is much higher than had he not become involved and moves onto to torment another company. Honestly this guy needs a new act, as his current act is getting old and very annoying.