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Two rich financiers are verbally abusing each other on television, and it’s awesome

Icahn Andreessen
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan(L) ;Reuters/Brendan McDermid
War of Words
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Carl Icahn, the “activist investor” (I hate that term but it won’t die), and Marc Andreessen, the well-known venture capitalist, have been at each other’s throats for a few months now. Icahn decided to take another swing at his rival on national television today, saying Andreessen had “screwed more people than Casanova.”

The day before, Andreessen described Icahn disparagingly as the “evil Captain Kirk.

The great thing about this war of words is that it perfectly encapsulates the culture clash underway between the two dominant strands of American finance, Wall Street and Silicon Valley, which we think is going to be a pretty important theme for years to come as the two centers increasingly veer on to each others’ turf and jostle for supremacy.

True to his New York roots, Icahn is all aggression and bluster; Andreessen—known for his tweetstorms on topics as diverse as the future of journalism and theories of disruption—is less blunt and more considered. He’s yet to respond publicly to Icahn’s latest provocation (or an email from Quartz).

Amusingly, Andreessen’s last tweetstorm centered on the idea that big tech companies like Apple are undervalued. That must be one of the few things he and Icahn agree upon.

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