Harold Simmons has managed to beat the hell out of his old running buddy and Swift Boat co-captain T. Boone Pickens. Because while Pickens has lost a billion dollars this year, the man behind the Bill Ayers attack ads has that beat and then some: A Friend of Unfair Park just sent us this Money story from moments ago about Simmons' potential $4 billion loss in 2008, a result of his ownership in six publicly-traded companies under the aegis of his Valhi Corp. holding company.
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Notes the lengthy piece: "The Dallas-based billionaire isn't only delivering punches, he's taking them -- his empire hit hard by the stock market's general decline and by cost and demand issues related to his companies' industrial products." And while Valhi's stock has been plummeting -- it's down $1.84 thus far today, to $8.30 -- Simmons has been buying it up. And "ordinarily Simmons would run into regulatory issues buying as much stock as he has lately." But the events of September 19 will keep the Securities and Exchange Commission off his back for now. --Robert Wilonsky