Bill Ackman Wants to Save Newark

billackman 3 Bill Ackman Wants to Save NewarkOur story begins years ago in a Newark housing project, the now-demolished former residence of Newark mayor Cory Booker, and an unlikely place to spot hot shot hedge fund money manager Bill Ackman. Nevertheless, a meeting between the two took place, Bloomberg reports, amid “drug dealers and rats.” And now big-time money is flowing into that town across the Hudson with the airport and the poor people.

Ackman joins Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and media titans Stephen Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey in his infatuation with Booker. Zuckerberg gave $100 million to the Newark school system, while Ackman gave $25 million.

Ackman says Booker has more talent than many people on Wall Street (Bloomberg mentions Booker is a Rhodes scholar). Booker tells Bloomberg he and Ackman share a certain je ne sais quoi.

“Bill Ackman is like me,” Booker said of the investor known for pressuring companies to take action to raise their stock prices. “He’s impatient. He wants to solve problems and he wants to solve them now.”

It’s a real-life prince and the pauper story!

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor