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What If Buffett and Icahn Retire and These 4 Investors Pick Up Their Mantle?

David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital Management

In the boom, bust and then boom of the past 10 years, arguably no investor has gained more notoriety and praise than David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital Management.

Einhorn's displayed skill distinct from Buffett and Icahn in being able to understand the fragility of the U.S. economy and certain business models to identify stocks to short. Meanwhile, as a long investor, Einhorn's also done good work in spotting easy bargains such as Apple (AAPL) headed into 2012.

The famed short seller and emerging value investor nevertheless, appears to have a Buffett and Icahn-like ability to learn from investing failures.

Einhorn emerged in the financial crisis as an authority on the fragility of the banking system only after losing his shirt on an investment in failed subprime lender New Century Financial. While the trade was one steeped in red ink, it laid the foundation of Einhorn's most famous trade - a short of investment bank Lehman Brothers prior to its collapse.

Since then, Einhorn's seen mixed success in weeding out alleged accounting irregularities at the likes of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) and he's been able to spot overvalued stocks such as Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - Get Report), bucking Wall Street trends.

Increasingly, Einhorn's served as the authority on rooting out value traps, frauds and stock bargains. In a market where most stocks have recovered near post-crisis highs, Einhorn's skills are especially crucial.

Meanwhile, there's strong indication that Einhorn's carved out a long and short investing style as distinct as Buffett's value approach or Icahn's activism.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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