What’s worse than skinny dipping in the Hudson? The answer is skinny dipping in the Bosphorus – the sea that runs through Istanbul. It *seems* pristine, but actually harbors more toxic waste and human carcases than the waters beside Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Last week, Dealbreaker wrote a post about Cliff Asness driving irresponsibly. If that’s newsworthy, this is huge: Bill Ackman swam naked illegally in the middle of Istanbul when he was an MBA student at Harvard. It is both illegal and hazardous to swim naked, and we have difficulty understanding why Ackman did something as juvenile as this.
William Ackman’s confession came at a speech he gave in Istanbul last month. Ackman was on vacation, but he still wanted to introduce himself to the Turkish investment community. To prove his transparency, he apparently didn’t mind sharing the details of his lewd and irresponsible behavior back in the day. By the way, Turkey is one of the fastest growing countries in the world right now (10+% growth rates in 2010 so far). The stock market is up nearly 40% in the last 12 months and the capital gains tax rate is zero (Tea Party’s Favorite place in the world?). When asked why he swam naked, Ackman responded “’cause I didn’t have a swimming suit!”
Ackman also told listeners that his office is in the same building as George Soros’ and that they play tennis frequently. Implying that he’s chummy with Soros, Ackman said “Most people don’t understand Soros. I learned so much from him, and still learning. Every week we play doubles tennis, and he always picks the right partner (not me!). Considering that he is such a successful investor, this does not surprise me at all”.
It was obvious that nobody in the Turkish media knew who Ackman is. So, they kept asking questions about people they did know, like Warren Buffett (see our Warren Buffett articles) and Bernie Madoff. Ackman said he did not know Madoff, but his father knew him 20 years ago and wanted to invest his funds with him. However, after meeting Madoff, Ackman’s father changed his mind because he did not trust Madoff.