5. Carl's Compulsion
Originally published Oct. 11
Forgive us Dumbest fans, but since we're talking Twitter we really need to address Carl Icahn's recent tweeting compulsion.Not that there's anything wrong with the billionaire investor using the social media platform to pump -- or potentially dump -- his positions. The powers that regulate so far don't seem inclined to hassle Icahn about moving the market with his 140 character outbursts. So why should we antagonize Carl if he's filing the appropriate paperwork before letting his tweets fly? Said another way: We're not idiots. We saw firsthand the hell Icahn put Bill Ackman and Michael Dell through this past year and the last thing we want is for Carl to belittle us in front of Scott Wapner on Power Lunch. Unless, of course, there is something wrong with mixing tweeting and trading. We really don't know the legal ramifications of this new disruptive technology as it pertains to the market. That is, other than the fact that big-hitters like Carl can make big waves simply by hitting send and bucket-shop brokers are already tweeting for their own nefarious purposes as we speak. Take the craziness that Carl unleashed Monday night when he tweeted: "Disclosed approx 61 million share position in Talisman Energy (TLM). May have conversations with mgmt re strategic alternatives, board seats, etc.". Carl's simple statement sent shares of the Calgary-based oil and gas driller surging over 8% in after-hours trading all the way to $13.43. Prior to Icahn's announcement, Talisman was down 3% for the year and were vastly under-performing the broader market. Holy cow, Carl! We haven't seen markets reactions that amplified since Abby Joseph Cohen leveled the Nasdaq with an inadvertent belch during the Internet bubble. And that's just Carl's latest trick. In August, Icahn added $17 billion to Apple's (AAPL) market capitalization when he Tweeted about his $2 billion investment in the iPhone maker and his "cordial dinner with Tim" where he pushed Apple CEO Tim Cook for a bigger buyback plan. Is it just us or is this getting a little nuts? Should we really care who Icahn dines with? Does it affect our retirement savings? Who knows? Maybe it does and maybe we ought to know what's on the menu too. Perhaps Carl should file his dessert choices with the SEC before tweeting them out. Once again, we are not against this whole tweeting fad. We simply don't know where it will end. Although it does give us a good idea for a new social media platform of our own. Maybe we'll take it public for $20 billion someday too. How does BillionaireYenta.com sound?