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The Problem at Pershing Square

Originally published March 14 at 3:19 p.m. EST

"Also-Ran #2: Pershing Square Shutters: Despite a large permanent base of capital and Bill Ackman's strong record of resilience (and stubbornness!), Pershing Square closes and Ackman heads off to teach at Harvard Business School after his acrimonious divorce and another poor year as Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) crap out and Herbalife  (HLF) heads higher. Many other high-profile hedge funds close as industry redemptions provide a disruptive impact to the markets throughout the year."
- 15 Surprises for 2017

Bill Ackman is one self-confident hedge hogger--who has demonstrated an arrogance over the years and a need to consistently tell the investment community how smart he was.

But, no one--including Ackman who possesses an extraordinary amount of hubris--deserves to be hit when he takes a blow on the order of magnitude of Valeant (close to $4 billion).

Moreover, I am not a fan of schadenfreude, which I see in the business media, post the Valeant sale Tuesday.

That said, here are some of the problems facing Pershing Square.

Pershing Square was down 20% in 2015, 13% in 2016 and is down again so far this year 2017. By my estimate he is 36% down from year-end 2014 (cumulatively)--which was his last profitable year (recording a 40% gain).

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