Bill Ackman slams the Wall Street Journal for publishing 'embarrassing' articles about 2 of his favorite investments


bill ackman

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

William Ackman, founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks to the audience in New York, July 22, 2014.

Activist investor Bill Ackman, the CEO of the $18 billion hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, threw shade at the Wall Street Journal during a conference call with investors on Monday.


During the Q&A portion of the call, Ackman said that he loves the Wall Street Journal and that he reads it every day. However, he thinks that the "Heard On The Street" section has the "most factually inaccurate" and "frankly embarrassing" articles about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He called the section's coverage a "disaster."

Ackman is a shareholder of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and thinks with the right reforms - like eliminating some lines of business - they could be worth much more. Heard on the Street columnist John Carney (a former Business Insider editor) has written several times this year that the companies aren't living up to those hopes.

"It will likely take a few more quarters before reality seeps into the valuation models of fund managers dreaming of a Fannie windfall," he wrote in a May column after Fannie Mae's quarterly results.

So far, Carney's been proven right. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's shares are down 40% over the past year -- and still far from the $23 to $47 a share that Ackman has predicted they could reach.

Still, Ackman said he thinks Carney's the one getting it wrong.

"I may put together a binder to help them on basic math," he said.

By the way, that would probably be a monstrous binder. Ackman has a reputation for delivering insanely long presentations at conferences.

Carney didn't comment beyond a tweet noting Ackman's comments.

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