For those who missed it, news broke this week that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Michael Milken for allegedly violating his life-time ban from working in any capacity as an investment advisor. The investigation reportedly is focused on Milken’s relationship with Guggenheim Partners, a big investment firm, but as readers of DeepCapture know, there is much else the SEC should be investigating so far as Michael Milken is concerned.
For starters, the SEC might want to read our story “Michael Milken and the Story of Dendreon” (or my book, “The Dendreon Effect: How Felons, Con-Men and Wall Street Insiders Manipulate High-Tech Stocks“) because that story (and the book) demonstrate that Milken has not only violated his ban from working as an investment advisor, but has also violated (but, of course, not been charged for) a host of other laws, from insider trading to influence peddling and scheming under the cloak of his cancer “charity” to manipulate the stocks of publicly listed pharmaceutical companies.
More specifically, Milken has used his Prostate Cancer Foundation to “capture” a few of the nation’s most prominent cancer doctors and to promote (with help from the doctors) pharmaceutical companies in which Milken and/or Milken cronies have large investments. Meanwhile, Milken and his associates have schemed to destroy at least one pharmaceutical company (i.e. Dendreon Corp.) that had a promising treatment for prostate cancer (and which was a competitor to companies promoted by Milken’s Prostate Cancer Foundation).
In addition, Milken and his associates have (with the help of those same doctors) “captured” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so as to influence FDA decisions about treatments for prostate cancer. This influence peddling, of course, has involved convincing the FDA to endorse treatments that were developed by companies with ties to Milken, and it has involved convincing the captured FDA to delay approval of Dendreon’s promising prostate cancer treatment (one that could have extended the lives of 60,000 men during the three years while Milken’s cronies successfully schemed to keep it from coming to market).
Unfortunately, the (captured) SEC is not (so far as I know) investigating the more egregious infractions. In addition, Milken has successfully captured most of the major U.S. news organizations, all of which have bought into the party line put forth by Milken’s impressive public relations machine that Milken was one of Wall Street’s all-time greatest “innovators” in the 1980s, when he ostensibly helped build some of America’s most successful companies, but has in more recent years devoted the greater portion of his efforts to “philanthropy.”
Actually, Milken deliberately destroyed far more companies than he built during the 1980s, but it is true that his finance helped grow the media empires of both Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch, and neither of those media empires have ever shown any inclination to expose Milken’s miscreancy. Nor has Fortune Magazine, which was one of the first to report this week that the SEC was investigating Milken, but was quick to remind its readers that Milken was a prominent “philanthropist” who had featured in a Fortune Magazine cover-story (title: “The Man Who Changed Medicine”) that trumpeted Milken’s good-deeds in the field of prostate cancer.
Ack. So it goes…