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Old 9th October 2019, 09:15 AM   #151
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 5,199
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Sometimes. For some definitions of "being stupid" and "exploitation".

"Buyer beware" is a well-established principle of free and fair trade. However, it is also a well established principle that caveat emptor is not sufficient to excuse outright fraud, abuse of trust, and other similarly unethical or criminal behavior.

Like most things having to do with humans living in community, seeking a balance between personal freedom (and responsibility!) and the common good, it's a complex question with no simple or easy answer. Sometimes the perpetrator and the victim have to share the blame.


I'm reading about the Theranos case right now. It's clear that Walgreens was defrauded. They entered into a partnership with Theranos based on lies they were told. Elizabeth Holmes and her cronies absolutely deserve the blame for that.

But there were also many red flags that the Walgreens team chose to ignore. They hired a consultant to help them with their due diligence. He was cockblocked at every turn by Theranos, and Wallgreens dismissed his concerns. So, even though Theranos cheated them, I'd say the Walgreens team screwed the pooch as well, and have much to answer for. If I were a Walgreens shareholder, I'd want consequences for the team that pursued the Theranos partnership. I'd want resignations for some of the executives involved. And if I were an investor or employer, I'd think long and hard about whether I'd want to work with any of those jackasses, regardless of how hard Theranos worked to fool them.*

*Theranos worked as hard as they possibly could to fool Walgreens, but it shouldn't have been enough to successfully pull off the scam. Walgreens worked pretty hard to fool themselves.

The crux of Walgreen's wilful blindness seems to have been concern about their major competitor, CVS. If Walgreens passed on Theranos, and the tech turned out to be real, CVS would eat their lunch with it. I get this concern.

But the smarter play for Walgreens, with the information available at the time, would have been to play dumb on this "sure thing", and let CVS snipe it out from under them. Then sit back and laugh while CVS ate a multimillion dollar jackass-tax.
Walgreen's, Theranos, and CVS are not people. That they have no conscience is therefore unsurprising.
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