Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cerberus Capital: Literally Blood-Sucking the Poor to Make Their Billions | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet

Normally when people moan about blood-sucking corporations it's not as literal as this story. Cerberus Capital, one of Wall Street’s most notoriously ruthless leveraged-buyout firms made a $1.8 billion profit from buying, and the later selling, the company named Talecris. Talecris engages in buying blood plasma from plasma donors, then producing and selling products from that plasma.

Theoretically buying and selling companies is part of the free market, right? Wall Street financiers should be just as free as anybody else to buy any company they like, make corporate changes to refurbish the company, and then sell the company. It's just like when the car addict down the street continually buys and resells cars, but in the case of financiers buying and selling companies there are peoples lives at stake along with the products and services operated by those companies.

Cerberus Capital paid $82.5 million for Talecris and later sold the company for $1.8 billion. Quite a profit, eh? They must be real smart. Or extremely ruthless. According to the alternet article: "They did it by the most savage, heartless means possible: by paying peanuts to their impoverished human plasma donors, who increasingly come from Mexican border towns to blood-pumping stations set up on the American side, jacking up the price of plasma by restricting supply , and then selling the refined products to the most desperately ill, patients suffering from hemophilia, severe burns, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune deficiencies."

Cerberus Capital has a long and shady record. For example they bought Chrysler and GMAC, drove both companies into the ground, arranged for tens of billions in government bailout funds, bleah. The corporate management is a who's who of "free market" leaning Republican insiders such as former Treasury Secretary John Snow and former Vice President Dan Quayle.

Sometimes I think the "free market" people simply want less government regulation so they can have more freedom to screw everybody. That's what has happened in this case.

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