As our Herb Greenberg wrote this week, Ackman is right in that the new audit didn't even ask the questions about Herbalife's marketing on which he based his short.
But, as I said before, the merits don't matter any more. What matters is whether Ackman will be forced to give up, losing money and prestige in the process.
Ackman has, in fact, released a second presentation calling Herbalife Robin Hood in Reverse, focusing on recent Securities and Exchange Commission actions.
One of his slides, from an Oct.17 SEC alert, tells investors, "If a program primarily focuses on recruiting others to join the program for a fee, it is likely a pyramid scheme." The alert also warned about "get rich quick" pitches and showed Herbalife salesmen making just such pitches to new recruits.
[Read: Car Insurance Costs 38% More After Claim]
I should note here that I worked for a multi-level marketing company while in college. I barely made enough to get back my investment. But I still have the knives, and they still work well.So as of this writing we still don't know how this story will end. Is Herbalife scandalous, or are Ackman's actions toward it scandalous? Will Ackman keep losing money, and will Carl Icahn keep making money in his heroic defense of the little guy's right to schadenfreude? Cliffhangers like this are the best Christmas present a financial writer could ask for. My best advice for 2014 is to buy popcorn futures. At the time of publication the author owned shares of AAPL. Follow @danablankenhorn This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.