Google+

Intriguing Expose’ Chronicles Billionaire’s Crusade vs. Possible Pyramid Scheme

 

Betting on Zero

Film Review by Kam Williams

Intriguing Expose’ Chronicles Billionaire’s Crusade vs. Possible Pyramid Scheme    

Every couple of years or so, I get approached by a friend or acquaintance excited about some great new product that they’ve just quit their job to sell. Curiously, instead of trying to get me as a customer, they’re always more interested in offering me an opportunity to share in their good fortune by becoming a distributor.

That’s a big red flag that the business isn’t legit, but a pyramid scheme. Such an operation is easy to identify, because its participants invariably profit primarily by recruitment rather than by the sale of goods or services to consumers.

Betting on Zero,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Ponzi racket, Herbalife, ill-advised enterprise, criminal enterprise, Carl Icahn

President Trump crony Carl Icahn

Directed by Ted Braun (Darfur Now), Betting on Zero chronicles the high-profile campaign of hedge fund manager Bill Ackman to expose the health food corporation Herbalife as little more than a multi-level marketing Ponzi racket. What makes the movie intriguing is that he was not necessarily acting altruistically, since he had also shorted Herbalife by placing a billion-dollar bet that the company’s stock price would plummet.

Nevertheless, the self-styled activist investor was still considered a Robin Hood in working-class circles, given his promise to disgorge any profits he might enjoy in favor of the unsophisticated, minorities who had lost their life savings in the ill-advised enterprise. The millions of victims were predominantly undocumented immigrants too afraid to report to the authorities how they’d been fleeced, for fear of being deported. 

Betting on Zero,  Film Review by Kam Williams, Ponzi racket, Herbalife, ill-advised enterprise, criminal enterprise, Carl Icahn

Bill Ackman

To prevail on their behalf, Ackman first needed to convince the Federal Trade Commission that Herbalife was indeed a criminal enterprise. That would prove to be no mean feat, considering all the prominent individuals lobbying on behalf of the firm, from CNBC investment adviser Jim Kramer, to Donald Trump’s “killer” crony Carl Icahn, to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, to ex-Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa.

For instance, there’s billionaire Carl Icahn not only propping up Herbalife’s stock by taking a huge stake in the company but he’s even goes on TV to dismiss as “B.S.” Ackman’s pledge to give his financial gains from the short to charity. Ultimately, the controversial case is resolved in one side’s favor, though it would be unfair for me to spoil the ending.

Is Herbalife a thinly-veiled con game being run by shady snake oil salesmen, or a benign operation affording average folks a realistic shot at the increasingly-elusive American Dream? You be the judge!

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

In English and Spanish with subtitles

Running time: 104 minutes

Distributor: Zipper Bros. Films

Source:  GIG News

Entertainment

Justice Denied Documentary Chronicles Racist Targeting of Chinese-American Bank

  Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Film Review by Kam Williams Justice Denied Documentary Chronicles Racist Targeting of Chinese-American Bank Asian-Americans are often referred to as the "model minority" because of their  success in the U.S. despite the existence of discrimination which has crippled other ethnic groups. However, the label has … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

  Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama  by David J. Garrow William Morrow Hardcover, $45.00 1472 pages ISBN: 978-0-06-264183-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Stunning Stenberg!

  Amandla Stenberg The “Everything, Everything” Interview with Kam Williams Stunning Stenberg! Amandla Stenberg first gained recognition for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. After the success of that film, Amandla earned the 2012 Teen Choice Award with Jennifer for Best … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season

  Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season Yamaha Pro Mark Davis Offers Two Solutions For Catching Bass This Spring Warmer-than-normal winter temperatures have shuffled bass spawning schedules on many lakes throughout the country this spring, but Mark Davis has seen it before, and the veteran Yamaha Pro knows just how to approach the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme

  A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme by Amy Lignor   There are many sports “fanatics” out there who literally dive head-first into an extreme sport in order to get their adrenaline pumping – taking on a sport that comes hand-in-hand with a monumental amount of risk. But for those who are not interested in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

  Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama  by David J. Garrow William Morrow Hardcover, $45.00 1472 pages ISBN: 978-0-06-264183-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Once Upon a Time Vacations

  Once Upon a Time Vacations by Amy Lignor   Whether you are a lover of history or you simply have the “Beauty & the Beast” obsession – which, according to movie revenue data, millions all over the world are suffering from – just think how amazing it would be to stay in an actual castle. We already know what the beauty would be … [Read More its Good for You...]