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Alternative Market Briefing

The era of the takedown deck, hedge funds take to public short calls

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Social media and financial services often meet in interesting ways, see finance Twitter for a real time peanut gallery of market commentary in 140 characters. Now there's a longform version - the takedown deck. Once reserved for closed door conference room presentations, websites and live tweets of short calls are becoming commonplace. We first saw this with the now infamous Herbalife is a Ponzi scheme website/presentation. In just the past week, two more entrants have come online - Tortus Capital's website Rehabilitating Portugal, outlining its thesis that Portuguese debt is unsustainable, and a 122 page short call on LKQ Corp authored by Prescience Point Research Group, released and live tweeted today.

The growth of the takedown deck is interesting on a few levels, the first that earlier entrants - Ackman on Herbalife and Einhorn on Apple simultaneously raised the profile of their convictions and failed at their goals. Herbalife has been a rocky road for Ackman, and Einhorn didn't get the votes he wanted on Apple at that time. Rehabilitating Portugal came online the day that Portugal returned to the capital markets, r......................

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