Betting on Zero (2016) torrent download

Betting on Zero

2016

Documentary

7.2

Synopsis

Writer/director Ted Braun follows controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman as he puts a billion dollars on the line in his crusade to expose Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history.

Cast

Ted Braun
as Narrator (voice)

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jdesando N/A

Entertaining, educational, with a dose of humanity.

William Ackman, quietly charismatic investor and producer of Inside Job, has made a short bet on Herbalife, which he claims is a pyramid scheme benefiting the rich at the top and stealing from the poor at the bottom. Betting on Zero is the fascinating documentary about the battle between equally charismatic Herbalife CEO, William Johnson, and Ackman.

The ambiguity comes on two levels: Is Johnson a con man or a brilliant business man? Is Ackman in this game to bring down the price of Herbalife's stock and cause the company to close, or is he looking to make a huge profit (he promises to spread his profit to the poor, mainly Latinos, who bought into the pyramid)? This doc is not as pro-Ackman as you might expect. By tracking him coming to a meeting like a rock star out of a black SUV and increasing skepticism about his motives, it seems to support a balanced view. Yes, Johnson has been part of a management that has made the company worth over $50 billion and many at that high level, millionaires, yet the evidence is that the need for more and more managers merely means more people in the lower levels will never make a buck.

As with The Big Short and Margin Call, both about the bad mortgage game, the tension is ripe even though we know the outcome of a potentially nerdy story. However, these stories are all fraught with human drama and educational enlightenment for those of us not versed in financial language and events.

These real-life stars carry the moral ambiguity of Shakespearean tragic characters, which, in this case, appear to honor and protect the consumers who buy their products. You will leave the theater with a better understanding of shorting and more than that, a wariness about door-to- door products and slick purveyors.

Reviewed by gavin6942 9 /10

A Perfect Expose

Writer/director Ted Braun follows controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman as he puts a billion dollars on the line in his crusade to expose Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history.

This is just about as perfect as a documentary can get. The very moment I was introduced to Herbalife in the early 2000s, I knew it was a pyramid scheme. But obviously others do not see that, as the business continued to be profitable and thriving.

This documentary not only explores the pyramid nature of the business, but explains how people fall for it. In some cases, it is because they are unsophisticated immigrants. Other times, they had the business misrepresented to them. But it is not just stupid or ignorant people who fall for it.

Without giving anything away, this story will have you cheering on Ackman. He may be one of the very few Wall Street investors who is actually hoping the little guy will win.

Reviewed by laszlo-05700 7 /10

A good watch for those interested in investment science. For others, less so.

As of October, 2017 - a few months after the premier of this documentary - Herbalife stock price peacefully sits at ~67 USD. I just wanted to start the review with this statement to let everyone know the company is still well and thriving. None should look at this production as the documentary that exposes the dirty cheats that may run a corporation bankrupt or earn them the most thorough federal investigations of all time. My law teacher once told me: everyday people think that courts provide justice for the mass, but it isn't true. What they provide is law. This applies to Herbalife a lot: the way an MLM company operates is clearly unfair and unjust, but none was able to prove so far that it is completely against the law. There may be illegal operations behind the curtain we don't know of yet or 'Betting on Zero' was unable to bring to light, but as far as they are considered clean by the regulators, they go on.

However I must praise the documentary for the financial approach. It gives very good explanation on basic terms like shorting, provides a good view of the hedge fund world and reveals why the efficient market theory is far-far away from reality. So in case you want to be the next George Soros, this is a must-watch for you. If you are looking for a documentary where the little men fight to get revenge on big money, then just skip this - Mexican immigrants praying with attorneys will hardly provide you any useful information.

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