How low can you go to make billions? By quite literally bleeding the poor and selling their blood to the people who need it to stay alive. Sound like a plot from HBO’s “True Blood”? No. It is the business practice of Cerberus Capital, a Wall St. hedge fund firm. Cerberus recently made $1.8 billion on a mere $82.5 million investment four years ago when they bought a company called Talecris.
Cerberus Capital, one of Wall Street’s most notoriously ruthless leveraged-buyout firms (or “private equity firms” in PC-speak), recently made a $1.8 billion killing on its human plasma investment, a company called Talecris. Talecris was purchased for a mere $82.5 million just four years earlier, meaning Cerberus made 23 times its investment on human plasma.
This was accomplished by the most savage, heartless means possible: by paying peanuts to 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 (a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission accused Cerberus Plasma Holdings of “operat[ing] as an oligopoly”), and then selling the refined products to the most desperately ill-patients suffering from hemophilia, severe burns, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune deficiencies. The products cost so much-one, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) cost twice the price of gold as of last summer-that American health insurance companies have been dropping or denying their policyholders in increasing numbers, endangering untold numbers of people.
Cerberus is the same hedge fund that drove auto makers Chrysler and GMAC into the ground. It’s Republican “players” are former Treasury Secretary, John Snow, Chairman, former V.P. Dan “potatoe” Quayle, International Chairman, and Founder of Cerberus, billionaire Stephen Feinberg, “a major Republican Party campaign donor with a hardcore fetish for Harleys and big guns”.
H/T to Hecate