David Einhorn: I Do Whatever They Say

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s Fooling Some Of The People All Of The Time is amazing. The book documents the war between Allied and Greenlight Capital. It’s crystal clear from the get-go that the book is an affidavit of sorts, filled with dates, names, facts that could be checked and the financials that made Einhorn a Wall Street hero. You try to be skeptical, but Einhorn answers the questions before your mind even comes up with them.

GREENLIGHT CAPITAL David Einhorn

One wonders how David Einhorn and his team could possibly have documented – either mentally or otherwise- all the facts listed. But they did. The book’s publisher offered Allied a chance to correct any factual errors, and since Allied never responded one only assumes the book is as accurate an account as possible.

Aspiring hedge fund managers and business students may know that David Einhorn’s Fooling Some Of The People All Of The Time is a must read. Einhorn presents with alarming detail the dubious accounting practices that were protected or ignored by Wall Street, the media and Washington alike.

We asked Einhorn what he thought might have happened had he never made his now infamous speech detailing Allied’s questionable actions.

“Allied might have had a better chance to come clean. But my feeling is that once I made the speech, they sort of dug their heels in,” he said. “And I think they wound up mismanaging their business in an effort to try to prove me wrong.”

Aspiring journalists should also read this book. Every word shows how at the time, Einhorn crossed paths with practicing journalists who leaned on the status-quo-must-be-right mentality that journalism students are often taught to push through. Instead, Einhorn seems to have taken on the role of the reporter searching with conviction for the truth behind Allied.

But there’s also one other group of people who should read this book: Parents who are motivated to work like dogs so that their children are better off. The real story for us came early in the book. This writer could feel her gut cave in with envy not from reading about the multiple battles Einhorn waged and won, the money he earned in a business he started, or the contributions he made to various noteworthy charities. It was from reading of the elder Einhorns’ decision to fork over a  half a million dollars to their 27-year-old’s business.

The internal parental to-do list of yours truly is now one entry longer, with Fund Their Dreams. Nancy and Stephen Einhorn knew this decades ago. David pays tribute to them in several ways in the book. “My parents still have tremendous influence on me,” Einhorn told us recently. “I do whatever they say.”

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