Bill Ackman, did I ever tell you how much I like that suit? Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Why I Forgive Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman

Jonathan Weil joined Bloomberg News as a columnist in 2007, and his columns on finance and accounting won Best in the Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2009 and 2010.
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I'm just writing this column to tell Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn: I forgive you.

It worked for Ackman. He called Icahn the other day to say he forgave him, according to the Wall Street Journal. And Icahn reciprocated by saying he forgave Ackman. And that's all anybody in financial journalism really wants these days: a phone call or e-mail from Ackman or Icahn to share some tidbit about what they're going to say next on TV or Twitter. And that would be a cool thing to have happen to me, because it might generate a lot of social-media hits, and the stocks that they just bought or shorted might go nuts. And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Sending stocks up or down for no reason other than the fact that Ackman or Icahn just blurted out some company's name?

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

So there, I'll say it again: I forgive you, Bill. I forgive you, Carl. But more important, I'm just like you: I can't stand Marty Lipton's views on shareholder activists, either! See how much we have in common?

I forgive you both for hijacking the stock market and financial-news television in general.

I forgive you for forgiving each other, and ending (for now) what had been a really fun story for journalists to write about. (We'll see if the truce lasts.)

I forgive you for giving the story about you two forgiving each other to the Wall Street Journal instead of me.

I forgive you for not starting a Twitter war with me anytime in the past few years, which would have been a big help. (It's not too late.)

Finally, and most important of all, I forgive you -- yes, both of you -- for being much, much better looking than me.

You know where to reach me. My e-mail address is below.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Weil at

To contact the editor on this story:
Paula Dwyer at