Activist Thursday (Part Two)…

So Carl Icahn just spoke at the World Business Forum and the insta-review, judging by the chatter in the ladies’ room, was that it was interesting, but contained “no content”. Still, these women said they’d be happy to have Icahn at their dinner party. Then again, this doesn’t seem like the type of crowd that knows its way around a 13-D.

While it’s true that Icahn didn’t divulge any secrets and spent a fair amount of time sharing old war stories from the 80s — American Can, Texaco, and other ghosts — and an almost equal amount of time putting on various accents — an Oklahoma lawyer, a Jewish man from Dallas, and a billionaire from Australia were among the accents he adopted to tell his stories — he did have something in common with Breeden in terms of his view of American companies:

“There’s no accountability. In many cases, there’s tremendous, tremendous waste. There’s so much waste in our management systems that when a guy like me goes in, there’s very few companies where I can’t go in and replace the CEO and save 30% on costs.”

Icahn also had a book recommendation: Theodore Dreiser’s The Financier.