Pharma Bro Gets Slammer Time

March 11, 2018

Martin Shkreli (aka, Pharma Bro, smirking boy sleaze bag, a poster child for greed according to Bernie Sanders), a former hedge fund manager and one face of the dark side of American capitalism, was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud. Hedge funds are private equity to make money and presumably reduce risk. Alfred Jones founded the first hedge fund in 1949 to hedge high expected performing stocks by selling short expected low performers. By having fewer than 100 investors he avoided SEC regulations. Bypassing the SEC is a strong signal that standards rules of behavior can be ignored. Hedge funds fit within the definition of capitalism that favor self interest with little concern for others. (What else can possibly matter besides getting rich?)  

 

The face of Shkreli seems particularly obnoxious to most people, with smirking and comments showing total distain for others, including Congress. His greatest claim to infamy was raising the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill (5600%). This was perfectly legal and a common practice dealing with drugs. At the sleasy end of capitalism (and much of hedge fund activity and various other banking activities tend to be in this direction), apparently, it is difficult to tell the difference between unethical (which gets the capitalists' thumbs up) and illegal behavior. 

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© 2016 Gary Giroux

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