a new information architecture

The battle rages on.  It’s Ackman v. Herbalife (HLF), with many others in the mix, choosing sides and fighting the promotional battle.

This is a great example of the changed nature of the markets, with new strategies regarding the communication of investment ideas going hand in hand with a playing field that looks much different than it has in the past.

For an update, see articles today from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.  An additional player is John Hempton (see his recent posting and a CNBC appearance); I wrote about his due diligence chops in a recent essay.

This is really Herbalife questioning 2.0.  In May, I looked at the way the market responds to questions depending on who is asking them — in that instance, it was Einhorn, not Ackman, questioning Herbalife.

It used to be that a new recommendation from a big broker mattered a lot.  It still matters, but only a little.  A hedge fund titan can move things in a hurry and by quite a bit (Tepper has shown he can even move the market with his well-timed appearances), but today’s world also has many instances where a single blogger can have an impact too.

This is all part of a new information architecture for the markets.