Well, well, well, well…the notorious CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals has been arrested for fraud related to his old bankrupt hedge fund company. Apparently he has been shifting money from his old drug company Retrophin to the investors of the old hedge fund company.
This guy is a real character. I almost think he is a type of psychopath because he jacked up the price of a drug that has been around for decades, with nary a concern for the patients who needed the drug. I think it went from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. There was no real good reason for jacking up the price – the company was not losing money on it. No, he jacked it up because “his investors expected him to maximize profits.” There goes the whole shareholder value mantra again, used as a sledgehammer.
But he is not the only one raising drug prices; other companies are doing it too, in the name of providing profits to investors. Martin just happens to be the poster boy for greed because he flaunts his bad behavior. We really need to rethink the purpose of companies because the current philosophy of companies being business solely to make money just for the shareholders is giving license to bad boys to act outrageously. They all use the shareholder mantra as a sledgehammer.
To read the delicious article about his history and arrest, go to this NY Times article by William Cohen.
This author asks at the end: “The bigger question is whether Wall Street writ large will ever be able to reform itself to prevent acts of fraud and deception. There are encouraging signs…to rehabilitate Wall Street by focusing “less on the search for bad apples and more on how to improve the apple barrels.” Can Wall Street change or is human nature beyond repair? It’s moments like this that I wonder.”
If Wall Street is mostly filled with psychopaths, which I think it is because of the lure of money, then no, Wall Street probably can’t reform itself. It will need an outside force.