Martin Shkreli: Wolf to Lamb
Let's use Martin Shkreli as an awakening.
The world is open for business. Capitalism still rules. Of course it does. Discrepancy between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ grows wider with every market crash. Always the unscathed. Always somehow protected. Always off scot-free. Every now and then we the sheep are thrown a bad apple to eat, to help us forget about the taste of grass. The latest apple is as rotten as they come. We eat it, we think justice has been served and we forget about the whole thing within weeks. Conveniently some big titted bimbo shoots out an infinitely more interesting famous baby story. Our texting finger clicks the next channel and it’s all forgotten.
It is a common cycle. It’s the common way mainstream media deals with the topic of corporate greed, the financial sector, and more generally, rich white guys going to prison. Somehow it is always wrapped up in this nice little bow, sitting under the Christmas tree. Last year’s gift was Martin Shkreli, the little shit nosed CEO plastered over U.S. breakfast TV towards the end of 2015. His decision to raise the price of a 60 year old drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill overnight reminded us of the sheer scale of capitalist greed. For his efforts he made worldwide headlines. He was ousted as the total fucking asshole he is. I’m not one to entertain the idea of karma, but this story ended up just like it does in the movies complete with the poster image: Martin Shkreli, the baddie publicly shunned and hated and beaten like an effigy for personifying what the 'have nots' are told to hate, was indicted a few weeks ago on fraud charges.
He was pulled up for doing what everyone on Wall Street does, he was turned into a household name, was berated and tortured for our pleasure, and just as collectively Earth screamed ‘JUSTICE,’ he was arrested too. How? How did the FBI conveniently get this guy coincidentally just as we all wanted blood? Simple: they looked. That’s it. No huge corkboard filled with a variety of black and white voyeuristic shots of Wall Street executives and mafia members, mixed in with comical question marks, all physically linked together with red string from one to another. No, it was just that they looked. He put himself on the map, and someone from the FBI decided to look.
Within the first 5 minutes of any ‘Corporate Greed 101’ class budding financial sector vampires would be taught to detach themselves both legally and humanly from the corporate entity they are serving. Remaining ‘faceless’ is without question the most valuable asset in the corporate game. It absolves liability publicly, first and foremost, but also internally, within the corporation’s hierarchy when shareholders or the board demand a severed human head for their HQ’s lobby due to a fuck up that couldn't remain private. The larger the organisation the bigger the certainty that criminal activity will occur, and there is a skill to keeping those paws clean while the thrown shit is barely missing opulent fans forever spinning. Martin screwed this one up. He became a public name and chummed the waters his fellow industry members swim in. They would have been happy to give the bleeding Martin up to the sharks, especially if it meant their own necks are saved. And so it is, and so it was. Martin became the wolves’ lamb and the Fed’s looked like fucking heroes. All they had to do was look.
How many more ‘Martins’ are out there? He was just doing what he knows, carrying out the zeitgeist of Wall Street. Personifying capitalism. He was just making money. A lot of money. But really, to think he is the only hedge fund guy shorting stock then fucking markets around with different degrees of direct and indirect influence to bring the companies he 'bet' against down is to think Wall Street just makes strawberry cupcakes with fluffy white icing. It appears as though it took the FBI two fucking months to find something on him. How about they keep the ball rolling on this? Who is next?
It is hard to say why Martin is in the position he is in today. The completely naïve, candy floss, ‘priests don’t fuck little kids’ explanation is that ‘all crimes go punished,’ and ‘justice is served,’ and… I don’t think these words have ever been written before: ‘financial crimes don’t pay.’ Of course that one is total bull shit. Coincidence? Maybe the FBI were investigating him and it all happened so nicely with his price hike that the public got their spectacle before the channel was changed for once…? Doubtful. Tinfoil hat version is that he put the breakfast TV cameras on the financial sector, pissing the big fat cats off. They flex their muscles to the powers to be and he is made a sacrificial lamb. I don’t buy that either. How about he puts himself on the global map by opening his big fat mouth. He could have laid low, decreased the price of Daraprim back to $13.50, slinking into the dark, apologise through a press release on company stationery. He could have deflated the whole thing. I bet he would have gotten away with his little hedge fund fuckery from a few years earlier.The heat would have been off.
As the latest personification of the devil, Martin has been put on the altar and slayed to keep the middle class believing financial crimes get punished. Nothing is further from reality. Only one banker went to prison for the global financial crisis of 2008. In the 80’s, 839 people were convicted in the savings-and-loan scandals, yet we send only one Wall Street exec to the gallows for the global financial crisis? It’s not the market these pricks are betting on, they are betting on the apathy of the public. They are betting on their ability to remain faceless. They are betting on citizens remaining too bored to learn. Let's get mad. Let's learn what they do. Let's use Martin Shkreli as an awakening.