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I can't figure out what's more toxic,
Carl Icahn's potentially unethical activities around AAPL or the poisonous response from the media, coupled with something less than apathy from the general public.
Here's a guy who not only has access to a company that few, if any, of us will ever achieve, but he knows what will happen to the subject of his fodder the second he publishes his Tweets. And the public silently plays along. Where's the outrage?
TheStreet contributor Bret Kenwell said it best on Twitter ...
If Carl Icahn was on a campaign to tell the world how bad Apple sucks, there'd be mass outrage. I would be lauded for being one of the few to call him out on the carpet. But he's pumping in the right direction. He's receiving an edge that tends toward the broad sentiment. So it's all good.
One day you're the foot, next day you're the ass. You cannot let injustice slide only when it suits you because, at some point, allowing the sort of culture that exists on Wall Street to persist will come back to bite us all.
These guys see this cash. They see the "return" of it to shareholders as icing on the cake in some cases (presumably Icahn's) or a way to mitigate a position that either went south or didn't perform as well as anticipated (presumably in David Einhorn's case). When they speak of "unlocking value" and such, it's not righteous. It's all about them. They're in your corner until they're not in it any longer.
And Tim Cook rides along for the dog and pony show. Despite my recent Apple bullishness, I still long for the days of Steve Jobs at the helm.