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Planet Money

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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.

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#431: A Billion-Dollar Bet Against Weight-Loss Shakes

January 19th, 2013

Episode 553 of 913 episodes

Herbalife, a company that sells weight loss shakes, vitamins and other similar products, is worth billions of dollars. The company has been around for more than 30 years, and it's traded on the New York Stock Exchange.Bill Ackman thinks the whole thing is a pyramid scheme.Not surprisingly, Herbalife disagrees.Ackman manages a hedge fund that has shorted more than a billion dollars' worth of Herbalife stock. If the stock falls — and Ackman says he thinks it will fall all the way to zero — the fund will make money.On today's show, we talk to Ackman and to Herbalife. And we consider what it means when an investor bets that a company will fail.

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