Human Rights Versus Corporate Capitalism; People Before Profits

Recently US corporation Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to daraprim, a drug used to treat toxoplasmosis, and promptly announced it was increasing the cost from (US)$13.50 per tablet to $750. The same drug is sold in the UK for around $20 for 30 tablets.

When this news became public knowledge there was outrage. Social media went into overdrive, causing Turing to capitulate and announce that it will be reviewing the pricing of daraprim. By how much remains to be seen.

Turing’s CEO saw the rights to the medication as a market opportunity. He felt the market was prepared to pay a lot more for this drug and there was money to be made. And the role of any good CEO is to make as much money as possible for their company. Or more precisely, the company directors and shareholders. Continue reading

Lack of companies regulation makes New Zealand a haven for pirate capitalism

New Zealand’s lack of controls on company regulation and overseas investment risk turning it into a “third rate Cayman Islands” of unregulated financial deals.
Alliance Economic Development spokesperson Quentin Findlay says allegations that Vanuatu based companies had used New Zealand’s lax companies laws and regulations to establish thousands of dummy corporations were highly concerning, when such activities had been allegedly used for money laundering or arms deals, according to media reports.
He says it is not surprising that these events had taken place given New Zealand’s ‘wild west’ free market approach to finance and investment.
“The lack of adequate regulation and controls allows the creation of dummy companies with little or no scrutiny. This is a result of the deregulation approach which provides little or no protection against bad practices.”
Mr Findlay says it is alarming United States authorities seemed prepared to take action, while those in New Zealand appeared to dither.
“This is an embarrassment to New Zealand.”
Mr Findlay referred to the 2009 case involving the Overseas Investment Office and American firm, Cedenco, where unacceptable practices were ignored.
The Alliance is calling for a thorough review of the Companies Act and related legislation, and for the Government to impose regulations to stop New Zealand’s slide towards a haven for pirate capitalists.

A lesson for New Zealand in Greenspan's flawed worldview

Alliance co leader Kay Murray says recent comments made by Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, demonstrate that the world should not be run by economists and financiers.

“Mr Greenspan has claimed he was shocked at the extent of financial institutions risk taking that occurred under his term, now that the extent of the financial disaster has become apparent. He genuinely believed that the desire by institutions to protect their reputations, presumably by remaining solvent, would override the desire to make as much money as possible.”

In what must be the understatement of the century so far Mr Greenspan is reported to have said there was a “flaw in the model of how I perceived the world works”

“Where has this man been all his life?” asks Ms Murray. Continue reading