Betting on Zero

Betting on Zero is a movie made about the battle between Bill Ackman and Herbalife. It is part of the Tribeca Film Festival. This should be well worth watching.  I hope it makes it to Netflix in the near future. If you are in the New York area, you can pick up tickets now to watch it.

For more than three years, Bill Ackman, the founder of $12 billion Pershing Square Capital, has been trying to reveal the truth about Herbalife, most of their distributors lose as the company brings in over a billion dollars a year.

In March 2014, the FTC opened an investigation into the company. Last month, the company said in a filing that it’s in talks with the FTC.

Here is how the film is described:

Betting on Zero

Allegations of corporate criminality and Wall Street vendettas swirl throughout this riveting financial docu-thriller. Controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman is on a crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history. He argues the company targets working class Latino communities with a ‘business opportunity’ that is nothing more than a scheme. Meanwhile, Herbalife execs defend their product as a genuine opportunity, and accuse Ackman of being an unadorned market manipulator out to bankrupt them in order to make a killing off his billion dollar short position against the company. Amidst the heated rhetoric on both sides, who has the moral standing?

Ted Braun’s (Darfur Now) documentary presents a high-stakes chess game between the corporation and the individual that moves between the ethically fluid world of high finance to the personal grounds where the battle plays out with startling immediacy. Probing themes of fraud and greed, Betting on Zero is an engrossing deep dive into the moral complexities raised when astronomical sums of money—and no less than the American Dream itself—are on the line.

—Cara Cusumano


Section: Documentary Competition
Year: 2016
Length: 98 minutes
Language: English
Country: USA
Premiere: World


Director: Ted Braun
Screenwriter: Ted Braun
Producer: Glen Zipper, Devin Adair
Editor: Leonard Feinstein
Cinematographer: Buddy Squires
Composer: Pete Anthony
Executive Producer: Sonya Burres
Cast: Bill Ackman, Michael O. Johnson, Julie Contreras, Julio Ulloa, Zac Kirby, Douglas Brooks.