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What do people think of Martin Shkreli’s fraud arrest?

The entrepreneur, who has been criticized for price gouging on drugs, faces securities fraud charges related to his work at MSMB Capital Management and Retrophin. What are others thoughts on his arrest?

8 Replies

Tim Scott
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Tim Scott Entrepreneur • Advisor
President, Lunaverse Software
I found this article interesting:

https://mises.org/blog/martin-shkreli-learn-hard-lesson



Dave Reimherr
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Dave Reimherr Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder at Magnificent Marketing LLC
Hopeful that he is held accountable. We need more business owners who are the exact opposite of this guy.
Daniel Drew Turner
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Interaction Designer, Xerox PARC
@Tim: What do you find interesting about that article? It oddly seems to assume that nobody who isn't 100%-already-convicted shouldn't be arrested, though I suspect the author would not be happy with that.

(Note that I'm very familiar with the political and policy stances of Mises.org and other libertarian outlets and disagree strongly with them, but working hard to put that aside.)
Chris Rider
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Chris Rider Entrepreneur
(Founder) Director, R&D/Tech at DirtGlue Enterprises, www.dirtglue.com
D Reimherr said he hopes Shkreli is held accountable. Everyone who does something illegal or immoral should be held accountable.

I know that this is not a political forum but DD Turner made an interesting comment regarding the Mises Inst. Regardless of their article the MI is very principled, does not bend to the whims of political views or pressure and has some good ideas.
Tim Scott
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Tim Scott Entrepreneur • Advisor
President, Lunaverse Software
@Daniel Drew Turner: I didn't read the author to claim that conviction must preceed arrest. He offers no opinion at all on whether Shkreli is guilty of the charges. His point is that Shkreli was unwise to provoke the feds because he's likely to lose due to the overwhelming resources of his opponent. This seems rather bland and uncontroversial. Maybe a few law-and-order right wingers might claim that justice bears no relation to resources.

So to your question, yes, I guess it's not that interesting and does not directly address the question. The link in the first sentence leads to a much more interesting piece.

https://mises.org/blog/yet-another-way-government-drives-pharmaceutical-prices

It does not directly address the fraud charge either, but it's way more interesting. Here the author describes Shkreli's rent seeking -- using government protection from competition to extract higher profits than would be possible in an unhampered market.
Chris Rider
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Chris Rider Entrepreneur
(Founder) Director, R&D/Tech at DirtGlue Enterprises, www.dirtglue.com
Nothing untrue about what the Mises article said regarding Shkreli, Big Pharma or the Gov't. Many have the same opinion. Maybe things should change???
Daniel Drew Turner
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Interaction Designer, Xerox PARC
Okay, you're a fan of libertarianism. We get it. Okay, I'm not. We also get that. You will have confirmation bias when reading that site, as I will in reading the flaws in it. The fact that there never has existed a working libertarian society renders all that academic. I'm not sure this is the forum for posting articles from politically active institutions (and I'm sure you wouldn't argue that the Mises place is not seeking to influence policy).

I can say, however, that the claim that Shkreli was enabled by "the government" or the structure thereof is marginally accurate on its face, in literal terms, but false in connotation and conclusion. Yes, Shkreli was able to game and find loopholes in the regulatory and legal structure in place -- he was, indeed, a model entrepreneur (let's remember there's nothing inherently heroic in entrepreneurship; like any tool, it can be used for good or ill); however, said loopholed and oversights in the regulations and laws were actively lobbied for (or attempts to fix them were actively lobbied against) by not "the government" or its workers but by the Atlases (Atlasii?) of private industry, who were hoping to keep doing exactly and also sort of what Shkreli was doing. If you doubt this, I can try to find the time to get the relevant parts of the Congressional Record andhttps://www.congress.gov. So let's not cast Shkreli as a monster enabled by or created by the government -- and that argument is not really something that should be litigated here.


Chris Rider
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Chris Rider Entrepreneur
(Founder) Director, R&D/Tech at DirtGlue Enterprises, www.dirtglue.com

Hey Daniel, thank you for the well-considered comment!

I agree with most of what you've written. However I am not a libertarian, I am an independent who is fed up with gov't nanny state. Let free enterprise reign whatever the end result (good or bad). In the short run there will be pain for some but in the long run the free enterprise system (read no gov't meddling) will function to improve the overall economy and the bad will be weeded out by the consumers. The market should be "organic" not squeezed to fit the ideas of the political elite and their leftist, progressive minions.

Nothing more - keep it simple...

Happy New Year,

Chris

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