The smearing of Carl Icahn by a leak of an investigation involving trading in Clorox before an Icahn takeover bid is just the latest example of how regulators and prosecutors are going too far in their campaign on these issues. A Bloomberg article notes:
Hypothetically at least, a leaker of confidential information doesn't need to know the person who ultimately traded on it to be party to illegal trading. In many of the 85 insider-trading prosecutions and guilty pleas recently won in the Southern District of New York, the illegal trades were done by remote tippees who'd received the information second, third, or even fifth hand.
The New York Times coverage makes clear Mr. Icahn's real sin:
Others have pointed out that his new form of activism is motivated by self-interest.
"His shareholder democracy is right, but it's also what is convenient," said John Hempton, chief investment officer of the hedge fund Bronte Capital.
My goodness — a money manager who is motivated by self-interest. As a shareholder, I love Mr. Icahn's self-interest, because it's aligned with mine — we both want the stock prices to go up.