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  • Shattering The Personal Consumption Myth 3.0 [View article]
    mattstewart: "Here are a number of possibilities."

    No ... here are the ONLY possiblilities:

    1) They do not have any product to return.
    2) They decide that the intrinsic value of the product is worth more than the price they paid for it.

    If they decide to keep any leftover inventory upon leaving the business, then the purchase of those products are completely unrelated to the business opportunity and any commissions or advancement earned by the upline is clearly not a "recruiting reward".
    Mar 20, 2014. 10:28 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shattering The Personal Consumption Myth 3.0 [View article]
    mattstewart: "1) Your answer is nonsense. Reporting retail sales should be easy to do. Create the policy and enforce it."

    There simply is not requirement to do so, AND it would be so burdensome as to effectively put Herbalife out of business as NONE of the industry is required to do so. Matt, before you bring up Tupperware, show us where they have published the data for the investing community to analyse. Tupperware does not collect the data you are claiming Herbalife must collect. You know this, you've read it all before, but you simply ignore it and continue to mislead the investing public. Who's the fraud here?
    Mar 20, 2014. 10:20 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shattering The Personal Consumption Myth 3.0 [View article]
    mattstewart: '2) If Mary is a customer for two years and then signs up to become a distributor then she is a distributor, part of the pay plan, and therefore not an "ultimate user". This is the law.'

    That may be YOUR interpretation of the law, but it is most certainly NOT the law.

    For a good overview please read this from Mr. Jeffrey Babener, a leading MLM legal expert:
    Mar 20, 2014. 10:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Herbalife Long's Very Last Argument [View article]
    kalch23: "1. Why do distributors have to buy the product upfront and hold inventory?"

    Easy ... your information is wrong. There is ZERO requirement to purchase anything other that the initial IBP start up kit.

    kalch23: "2. Why are your commoditized products 2-3 times more expensive than your competitors?"

    Easy ... your information is wrong. Herbalife's products have been shown time and time again to be competitively priced.

    kalch23: "3. Why is your R & D expense only 2M per year?"

    Your statement is misleading. Define "R & D" ... Herbalife follows GAAP.

    kalch23: "4. Why is your distributor turnover so high?"

    Herbalife published the results of a survey of former distributors a little over a year ago. ( pages 36-45)

    kalch23: "5. What incentive is there for a distributor to turn a customer into another distributor (they lose a customer and gain a competitor) other than building a "downline" for the promise of bonuses and royalties?"

    In any MLM, building a downline, ie. recuiting, is expected, legal and ethical as long as the upline is not commissioned or otherwise advanced by fees or purchases that are simply incidental to the downline's purchase of the right to participate in a money-making venture.

    kalch23: "6. How many people lose money in trying to make money with Herbalife?"

    Who knows. Even if you were to define "lose money" and could identify those who are "trying to make money", no one has the necessary visibility into the private business records of those "trying to make money" to make that determination.

    The shorts just can't accept that fact.
    Mar 20, 2014. 10:05 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Herbalife Long's Very Last Argument [View article]
    kherbert: "The FTC has lists and recently received another list of 1000 victims"

    The FTC has lists of complaints (some coerced by Ackman's money) that allege some wrong doing on Herbalife's part. Characterizing them as "victims" is WAY premature, fraudulent and deceptive, and you know it.

    Here is an example of an alleged "victim":

    Markey's letters to the FTC, SEC and Herbalife were cynical and fraudulent.
    Mar 20, 2014. 09:40 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Herbalife Long's Very Last Argument [View article]
    sojaded: "I'm short and already up big. My plan is to make money... long / short doesn't matter. I've never understood the Longs versus the Shorts and vice versa. Such a waste of time and energy defending your point of view. In the end it's profit versus loss."

    Not everyone here is a day trader. There are a lot of long term value investors and other people with a stake in the success of the entire MLM industry.

    sojaded: "This FTC investigation (whether it has any merit or not) has already damaged the stock. You must agree with that?"

    The FTC investigation's effect on the stock price is obvious. It's the "merit" part that bothers so many here, as it should, with concerns beyond the day to day (hour to hour?) price of the stock.
    Mar 20, 2014. 09:31 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Herbalife Long's Very Last Argument [View article]
    Mr Toolman, ... nice work. Ackman's thesis is riddled with holes.
    Mar 20, 2014. 09:26 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Herbalife Long's Very Last Argument [View article]
    kherbert: "I think the MLM industry and it's followers have adopted the "I reject any reality that proves me fraudulent and I substitute my own" philosophy!"

    "realities" are not "proof". Exactly what "proof" are you referring to?
    Mar 20, 2014. 09:21 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Pyramid Scheme Industry: Examining Some Legal And Economic Aspects Of Multi-Level Marketing [View article]
    pgadget: "There was an article on Seeking Alpha recently that made the case that a pyramid scheme with all the details laid out, with no deception or explicit fraud, was morally fine and should be legal."

    Are you referring to Del Lindley's article entitled "Are Pyramid Schemes Inherently Fraudulent?"?

    If so, he was arguing that Pyramid Schemes, with all the details laid out, with no deception or explicit fraud are not fraudulent and therefore all pyramid schemes are not inherently fraudulent, in other words, fraud is the core problem that needs to be addressed and proved in a court case (in his opinion). I don't think he argued its morality.

    pgadget: "I disagree with that because the people who join pyramid schemes simply don't have the mathematical intuition to understand why the scheme can't work."

    I agree, true pyramid schemes do fail because mathematically they can't work. This is one of the strongest heuristic arguments that HLF is therefore not a pyramid scheme, for if it were, the mathematical model predicts that HLF would have failed a long time ago.

    pgadget: "But, people involved with Herbalife (including those at a high level) sell the idea of duplication anyway."

    Duplication is a property of a pyramidal organization, not a property that differentiates between a legal MLM and an illegal pyramid scheme.
    Mar 20, 2014. 09:14 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shattering The Personal Consumption Myth 3.0 [View article]
    Blue Ridge Buffoonologist: "The point is obvious - the only reason ppl sign up as distributors is for the business opportunity. This is the hallmark of a pyramid scheme."

    First, the point is neither valid or obvious. Let's assume for discussion that every distributor signs up because they intend to pursue the business opportunity. If the monies spent to participate in the money making scheme are not used to compensate the upline or for advancement in the scheme, then there is no pyramid scheme, and therefore can't be a "hallmark of a pyramid scheme".

    Remember in Herbalife's business plan, the only required purchase is the IBP, an at cost start up kit. None of the revenues from the sale of the IBPs are commissionable or count towards advancement.
    Mar 19, 2014. 08:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Herbalife Long's Very Last Argument [View article]
    raifel: "Tell that to the 99% who lost money, sometimes their live savings."

    Where are they? 16 months and hundreds of thousands spent to find them and this is what we've got:

    We're being lied to here people. Ackman is not coming clean and neither is the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, Mr. Markey.
    Mar 19, 2014. 07:46 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Herbalife Long's Very Last Argument [View article]
    kherbert: "For example, nobody has proven that the majority of sales are to outside of the network customers, even though the question has been asked a long time ago by Einhorn:"

    This has been debunked over a year ago. Nobody HAS to prove that! Its only a requirement in the minds of the Anti-MLM cabal. Internal consumption, uninfluenced by the business opportunity, is 100% a retail sale to the ultimate consumer ... AND is legally commissionable ... even if it comprises 100% of the sales. The legal question and the one the FTC cares about is showing that those sales are uninfluenced and not merely incidental to the money making scheme.

    kherbert: "Anyone who claims that all of Ackman's assertions have been debunked is either not honest to themselves or is trying to deceive."

    Let's hear another undebunked assertion ...
    Mar 19, 2014. 07:40 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shattering The Personal Consumption Myth 3.0 [View article]
    davidbrear: "Apparently, $7000 went to 'Herbalife' in exchange for effectively-unsaleable wampum"

    OK, so return it to Herbalife for a full refund ... its NOT worthless.

    davidbrear: "... tens of thousands of dollars went on pursuing the rest of the economically-suicidal 'Proven Herbalife Step-by Step System for achieving Total Financial Freedom.'"

    From the article ( "Michael Araujo, a 60-year-old Norton resident, said the $130,000 cited by Markey is an inflated number that includes rent payments and other living expenses he incurred after he was laid off in 2010 from his job as a vice president of contract management at a bank.

    Herbalife does not collect rent or payments for living expenses. One would think someone who was in "contract management at a bank" would understand how contracts work and would have read the distributor agreement before signing. Also, you would expect a vice president at a bank to understand basic finances, accounting and profit and loss concepts. Kinda hard for him to claim he is a business neophyte.

    davidbrear: "In this case, the exact 'Herbalife'-related loss is not yet known, but it was originally reported as $130 000. It might be more, it might be less, and it certainly doesn't include this destitute family's unpaid time and effort."

    First, where do you get the idea that someone else is responsible for someone else's "time and effort" when they attempt to run a business? Does the Bank Mr. Araujo worked at assume responsibility for people's lost time and effort when they make a loan to a start up business? Did Mr. Araujo ever negotiate a contract where one party will reimburse another party for their time and effort if they fail at some endeavor?

    Again from the above Boston Globe article: 'Alice Araujo, who had several conversations a few months ago with a Markey aide on behalf of her husband, said she wasn’t sure of the couple’s losses.

    “I don’t know where people are getting $130,000 because I said about $80,000 — $60,000 to $80,000” she said in an interview Thursday.

    In a subsequent interview on Friday, she said the figure is probably closer to $93,000, based on documents. She said she may have told Markey’s staff in January phone calls that it might have been somewhere between $100,000 and $130,000, including loss of their 401(k).'

    I'm beginning to get the sense that Ms. Araujo is exaggerating a bit herself ...
    Mar 19, 2014. 07:25 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shattering The Personal Consumption Myth 3.0 [View article]
    kherbert: "I have read that part of Herbalife's tactics is to intimidate the victims once they confront the company with their losses."

    Oh!? Where did you read that? I know Ackman claimed that in his latest dog and pony on China. Where did YOU read it?
    Mar 19, 2014. 07:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FTC Investigation Is A Game Changer For Herbalife Longs [View article]
    daveritchie: 'The fact that you are either unwilling or unable to grasp is that I never asserted that the market for Herbalife or its F1 product is “confined to” or “contained to only to its distribution channel”'

    Lets go back to the beginning. The "shorts" have claimed two contradictory facts about F1, that the "market" is saturated (saying there are no more customers to retail to) ... and that no one has heard about F1. Toolman observed the contradiction and asked: "Either no one has heard of it or its saturated. Which one is it?"

    You replied: "A third option is that the majority of Herbalife's F1 market is confined within its distribution channel, which could explain its simultaneous relative obscurity and market saturation."

    Clearly implying that there are no more retail customers available (market saturation) because the market is in reality confined to the distributors, and therefore those who haven't heard about F1 are not part of the market. The logic fallacy is that the market can be expanded through marketing efforts and therefore the market cannot be saturated.

    I pointed out that your logic was Gibberish and a nonsensical attempt to rationalize the contradictory statements.

    Now you want to fall back on your "majority" qualifier as a way to escape the illogic of your comment, however if you do, then you admit that the market is not saturated.

    See what I mean? Gibberish.
    Mar 19, 2014. 06:15 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment