In Ted Braun’s new documentary, “Betting On Zero,” controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman doubles down on a surprising adversary: Herbalife. The documentary follows Ackman as he accuses the giant company of being nothing more than a massive pyramid scheme that preys on people looking for unbelievable financial gains.
While Ackman’s aims may sound altruistic, Herbalife claims he’s only out to get them to literally profit off their downfall, thanks to his billion dollar short position against the company. Combining shocking real world consequences with the immediacy of last year’s big winner “The Big Short,” “Betting On Zero” is poised to be one of Tribeca’s most enlightening (and possibly controversial in its own right) documentary offerings.
Director Ted Braun told Indiewire this week, “In March of 2013, more than a year into his battle against Herbalife, Bill Ackman found himself at something of a crossroads. Instead of collapsing, Herbalife’s stock had reached an all-time high; his then nemesis Carl Icahn had appeared on the cover of Time Magazine above the caption ‘Master Of The Universe,’ a Belgian Court decision ruling Herbalife a pyramid scheme had been reversed; and an audit by Price Waterhouse Coopers had come back clean. Ackman had begun to wonder whether his involvement as a short seller was preventing the government from taking action.”
He added, “This clip from the film explores a moment when, under fire from the New York Times, he and Pershing’s advisory board contemplate getting out of his billion dollar short in the interest of pursuing regulatory action.”
“Betting on Zero” premieres tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival. Check out our exclusive clip above.