T. Boone Pickens is making headlines these days, professing that wind power and natural gas are the solutions to the country's high fuel prices. Could it be that he was inspired to cultivate wind farms after getting a hold of the windbags at Yahoo!
Pickens is certainly digging into the top brass at Yahoo! this week, after bailing on his investment in the Internet portal at a loss. He bought 10 million shares of Yahoo! two months ago, hoping to flip them at a profit if the Microsoft
"I think that Yahoo! management was pathetic," he told The San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board.
He may be right, but the only thing that is possibly even more pathetic is Pickens blaming Yahoo! for one of his rare crummy investing decisions.
Let's piece this together. He bought in May, several months after Microsoft's original $31 offer at the end of January. Yahoo! had been adamant about refusing Microsoft's advances, and Microsoft was resistant in raising its bid. Pickens bought into a stalemate. How could he not know that he was making a dangerous bet?
Pickens admitted on CNBC that he wasn't familiar with the details of Carl Icahn's proxy content, but chose to invest in Yahoo! -- or I should say speculate in Yahoo! -- to follow his fellow billionaire's lead.
Billionaire investors can be wrong. Even the typically sharp Icahn has stumbled recently with his investments in Blockbuster
The moral of the story here is that even billionaires make mistakes -- and that even the brilliant can get burned when they speculate instead of invest.
Pickens has chosen to speak out at an opportune moment. The media wagons are starting to circle around Friday's Yahoo! annual shareholder meeting. The fireworks may have fizzled now that Yahoo! and Icahn have made nice, but you know that Pickens isn't going to be the only one to let the company know about his dissatisfaction with Yahoo!'s current state. Let's just hope that the rest of the angry mob has done its homework first.
Some other recent Microhoo dealings:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of Yahoo! and Microsoft but not of bad weddings. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.