The Worst Person in America, Part 2: Karma Edition

The Worst Person in America, Part 2: Karma Edition

Rachel CohenMonday,21 December 2015

Well, well, well, how much things can change in a week! We wondered if Martin Shkreli, a smirk come to life, was the world’s worst person or the embodiment of the American Dream. Guess what, it’s kind of both!

While last week Shkreli was on our radar for promising to raise prices on yet another life-saving drug, in the course of one week we’ve learned just how deep the fraud of the man barely able to fill out a medium size hoodie goes.

Shkreli was arrested on Thursday for the crime of wearing a terrible hoodie with dress shoes. Oh, it was actually securities fraud?

Apparently Shkreli’s genius financial acumen boils down to “scheme that rhymes with Fonzie” and all of those “successful” hedge funds and companies he ran – SPOILER ALERT – were actually a not-even-that-well-disguised web of lies.

Shkreli, the embodiment of one-day’s mustache growth on a 12-year-old’s face, really helped to show America just how successful one can be if they just drop out of school, pull up their bootstraps (or the modern equivalent, zip up their hoodies), and convince people to hand them millions of dollars because, well, have you seen this hoodie?

Some of my favorite parts of the Shkreli-fronted Lifetime movie “How to Ruin America” include,

– Age 23-27: Manage a hedge fund (Elea Capital) and then lose all of it in 2007. Lose as many millions in trades with Lehman Brothers as possible, set up a new fund with different people’s money, then lose that too.

– Age 28: Make terrible financial bets and lose $7 million. Settle with everyone you owe money to at a fraction of their losses. Set up yet another fund with even more money, give yourself HUGE management fees, and then steal money from that fund to proactively invest in another company (get in front of the game this time, and definitely get into pharmaceuticals!)

– Age 29-32: Take the newest company, make up some fake loans in order to pay back some of those people from the earlier failed funds to make sure they get off your super cool hoodie back. Definitely make those early investors consultants in the most recent company, to make sure they get paid back by a company that has nothing to do with them except for making the mistake of not looking past a terrible haircut (he’s wearing a hoodie!)

Ugh, just terrible, right? But you know, the economy has been tough in the last decade or so. Is it just possible that maybe he’s a good guy in some other way?


No joke this guy’s personal life is as twisted as his, um, professional life. Somehow I feel like this movie is more suitable to VH1 or Bravo, but you decide:

– He spent 2 million dollars on the only copy of an exclusive Wu-Tang album only to tell the world that he had no plans to listen to it (unless Taylor Swift wanted to? HE ACTUALLY SAID THAT). Douche.

– He announced that he would bail rapper Bobby Shmurda out of jail and make sure he gets a fair trial. See? He is a good – oh wait he actually meant he wanted to buy a black man by bailing him out and making sure he “owed” him for the rest of his life?

– Well he did donate 1 million dollars to New York’s Hunter College High School, where he grad – what’s that? He left because of poor grades for another high school? Oh and he was that guy who came back to Hunter in his internship suit and briefcase to hang out in the halls? Oh.

– My absolute favorite – his love for live streams. Since every moment of Shkreli’s life is an opportune “what-not-to-do” learning lesson for sane people, he shares HIS HOURS LONG streams on YouTube. So – typical Shkreli – he also documents weird online fights he gets into with teenagers. Like all of us 30-somethings do, right? Just another manic Monday!

Of course, Shkreli is only accused of these crimes, so it remains to be seen if justice will play out, and how. But, it goes without saying that he is definitely a terrible guy. The only concern is, who are the worse guys that made the call to throw him under the bus? Modern America!

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Image Credit: NEPA Scene on Flickr

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