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Irene Watson

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Interview with Theodore Jerome Cohen, author of Death by Wall Street
By Irene Watson   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, December 31, 2010
Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010

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"Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls" is a murder mystery based on real events. When the severed head of a Wall Street stock analyst turns up spiked on a horn of the Wall Street Bull and two similarmurders follow, Detective Lou Martelli the NYPD finds himself hot on the trail of an unusual serial killer. But before the criminal is found, a series of clues lead to startling revelations about some of Wall Street’s, the pharmaceutical research profession’s, and the U.S. Government’s practices that favor greed over ethics and even human life.

Author Theodore Cohen felt called upon to write this novel after personally being victimized by Wall Street’s manipulations, with a wink and a nod from the FDA, of the biopharmaceutical companies in which he owned stock and after repeated, failed attempts to force the government to investigate the corruption he uncovered. Even his own congressmen was unwilling to pursue aggressively those who were involved in the illegal activities he found (and documented) on Wall Street, or worse, the government employees he identified who were working to keep effective medical treatments from being made available to people who would benefit from them.

Interview with Theodore Jerome Cohen

Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls
Theodore Jerome Cohen
AuthorHouse (2010)
ISBN 9781452079455 
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (09/10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is pleased to interview Theodore J. Cohen, who is here to talk about his new book, “Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls”.

Theodore J. Cohen, PhD, holds three degrees in the physical sciences from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has been an engineer and scientist for more than forty years. He has been an investor since 1960, focusing almost entirely since 1980 on the world of biotechnology. His experience spans the period from the dawn of the Age of Biotechnology in the late 1970s to today’s era of ever more momentous successes in the field. “Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls” is his first novel pertaining to the combined fields of investing and biotechnology. Dr. Cohen’s first novel, “Full Circle: A Dream Denied, A Vision Fulfilled”, which is based on his avocation as a violinist, was published by AuthorHouse in 2009. He also has written three novels that comprise his Antarctic Murders Trilogy: “Frozen in Time: Murder at the Bottom of the World” (Book I); “Unfinished Business: Pursuit of an Antarctic Killer” (Book II); and “End Game: Irrational Acts, Tragic Consequences” (Book III; to be published in the fall, 2010). The Trilogy is published by AuthorHouse, as well. From December 1961 through early March 1962, Dr. Cohen participated in the 16th Chilean Expedition to the Antarctic. The US Board of Geographic Names in October, 1964, named the geographical feature Cohen Islands, located at 61° 18' S. latitude, 57° 53' W. longitude in the Cape Legoupil area, Antarctica, in his honor. Dr. Cohen served in the US Army Corps of Engineers from March 1966 through March 1968, leaving the service with the rank of Captain. Today, he is here to discuss his latest novel “Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls”.

Tyler: Welcome, Ted. Thank you for joining me today. To begin, I love the title of the book and the wordplay in the subtitle. But why Wall Street? It seems like quite a departure from your previous books that take place in the Antarctic?

Ted: Thanks, Tyler. It’s nice to chat with you again.

Yes, this book is a significant departure from my previous three books, “Full Circle”, and the first two books of the Antarctic Murders Trilogy, “Frozen in Time” and “Unfinished Business”. That said, however, “Death by Wall Street”, like “Full Circle” and “Frozen in Time”“Unfinished Business”is based on real events and is drawn from my life’s experiences.

For more than four years, investors in Dendreon Corporation (symbol: DNDN) have been pleading with me to write a book on how the common shares of the company were being manipulated by people on Wall Street and in the healthcare sector, much to the detriment of the corporation, its shareholders, and most of all, the patients awaiting FDA approval of Dendreon’s revolutionary new immunotherapeutic treatment, Provenge, for end stage prostate cancer. (Full disclosure: I have owned shares in Dendreon since 2006.) The “Dendreon Story,” if you can call it that, already has been written by Mark Mitchell. I urge your readers to read it at http://www.deepcapture.com/michael-milken-60000-deaths-and-the-story-of-dendreon-chapter-1-of-15/. I think they will be absolutely amazed at the cast of characters that were arrayed against Dendreon in an attempt to take the company down, including the infamous Mr. Bernard Madoff. I had nothing to add to what Mitchell already has written regarding the Dendreon Story.

That said, I have been a biotech investor for thirty years. The manipulation of Dendreon’s common shares is not the first time that I have seen Wall Street and corporate members of the healthcare sector “play” with a relatively small biotech company, and in doing so, “play God” with people’s lives by determining which companies survive and which companies fail. When Wall Street forces a biotech company having a promising technology “into the ground”―either into bankruptcy or to the point where share prices are so low the company can’t raise the funds it needs to conduct FDA-mandated drug trials―it may be denying patients life-saving drugs at some point in the future. And to what purpose? To what end? Because the “Street,” as it is called, values money above human life. As Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s film, “Wall Street,” said: “It’s all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation.”

My book contains the stuff of real life, and so, you will find, in some cases, that I have cited real events, masked though they may be. I have been fortunate to witness the rise of such companies as Genentech, Amgen, and others that succeeded in developing new cures for diseases that have thwarted medical practitioners and scientists since the Renaissance. Likewise, I have witnessed, sadly, the demise of companies that failed to achieve their vision of bringing “miracle cures” to market for such diseases as cancer and cardiomyopathy, areas where even today, science is virtually helpless in the face of the relentless onslaught of Nature gone amuck.

Unfortunately, I also have witnessed countless examples in which stocks of companies in the biotech universe—for example, Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN), Dendreon (DNDN), Genta (GNTA), Icos (ICOS), ImClone Systems (IMCL), ViroPharma (VPHM), and VaxGen (VXGN), among others—were manipulated by Wall Street, sending the companies’ share prices tumbling and dashing hopes that they would be able to raise the money needed to develop life-saving cures so desperately needed by our nation’s sick.

How many individuals died as a result of these immoral Wall Street practices will never be known. Suffice it to say, the Street has the blood of millions on its hands . . . the blood of men, women, and children, who because of unrestrained greed, unethical conduct, and immoral behavior that exceeds the bounds of a civilized society, were denied drugs that, in many cases, would have extended if not saved their lives.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is culpable as well. There is documented evidence of malfeasance among both government employees and special government employees—consultants serving in an official capacity—who thwarted the timely approval of safe and effective drugs that later, after hundreds of thousands of suffering patients had died, finally made their way to market. All this I have witnessed.

And let’s not forget the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that toothless, sleeping “wonder” of a Federal market surveillance agency that even after ten years and any number of visits from Mr. Harry Markopolos, couldn’t pick up the stench emanating from Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Is it any wonder they never even got a whiff of what the Street was doing to the biotech sector over the last several decades?

Writing “Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls”is how I have chosen to express my disgust and revulsion, not only with Wall Street for its treatment of the biotechnology industry, but also, with our US government for not pursuing the crooks. For it not only turned a blind eye to what the Street was doing, but also, to those who desperately needed the cures that only the science of biotechnology could have provided.

Tyler: Wow, Ted. That’s an in-depth answer, and I can certainly understand your anger and frustration over the matter. I can also see how perhaps you had nothing to add to Mark Mitchell’s exposé. But that said, why write a novel to express your disgust and revulsion? Do you think a novel can make a difference in this situation, or did you merely need to blow off some steam?

Ted: That’s a very good question . . . really two questions. I’ll answer them in a few minutes.

First, I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that over the last eight years, there were countless occasions when I took evidence of stock market manipulation in the case of Dendreon’s stock and of the approval process related to Provenge to the US Attorney General, the SEC, my congressman, my senators, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Senate Finance Committee, the US Attorney for the Southeastern District of New York, and the Over the Counter (OTC) management team, among others. Except for a letter my congressman wrote the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in January, 2008, suggesting that hearings should be held on the matter, and except for a number of pro forma responses from the SEC, I heard nothing. Nothing! Not even the courtesy of a reply from the Attorney General. And after that first letter my congressman wrote to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, he never again responded to my e-mails, letters, faxes, or telephone calls. He didn’t even respond to two letters I personally handed to him at Town Hall Meetings held in my area. Nothing from him in two years despite my having documented evidence of market manipulation and corruption within the FDA . . . evidence that Mark Mitchell eventually cited in “DeepCapture”.

But it doesn’t stop there. Since mid-2007, I attempted to get the mainstream media―or as I call them, the mainscream media―interested in the Provenge story. I spent hours on the phone educating reporters for “The Washington Post” and “The Boston Globe” on the backstory surrounding the conflicts of interest (COIs) related to some panel members participating in the 2007 Provenge Advisory Committee meeting. The reporters for both papers did sophomoric articles that focused on a red herring, and completely missed the main story. A reporter for the “Philadelphia Enquirer” did a little better job, but she abandoned the story, thinking the COIs weren’t that significant. Read “DeepCapture” and judge for yourself. The COIs are huge! “USAToday” showed some interest, but then, their editors stopped responding. Other major newspapers and financial journals across the country didn’t respond to my e-mails. In the one case that a reporter for a major business paper did respond and ask for more information, he was totally unable to focus on the essence of the corruption within the FDA. He kept moving his story from the FDA to the SEC, and then, back to the FDA again, until he exhausted my patience. In the end, I wrote him off, and he never published anything of which I’m aware.

Even the cable and TV outlets wouldn’t look into the story . . . not “20/20”, “60 Minutes”, “AC360” . . . none of them. Frankly, I thought it was a terrific tale of corruption on a broad scale. Here you had a disease―prostate cancer―that kills almost 30,000 men a year in the US along. Along comes Dendreon with a new treatment that musters the body’s own defenses to fight the disease. This is a “game changer”. It’s equivalent to the invention of penicillin or the Salk vaccine. Provenge requires only three treatments, six weeks apart. And what are the side effects?: mild flu-like symptoms for two or three days. Compare that to chemo, both in terms of the administration of the treatment and the side effects!

And what happens? Forces on Wall Street and professionals within the FDA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) . . . many of them doctors, for God’s sake . . . fight tooth and nail to prevent the treatment from reaching market. But this is old news. Mark laid it out in “DeepCapture” in the spring of 2009.

Meanwhile, no one . . . NO ONE . . . in the US government . . . not in the Department of Justice, the SEC, or the FDA (really, the Inspector General of Health and Human Services should have stepped in here to investigate what was going on within the FDA and NCI, but he was MIA, as well) gave a damn.

Tyler: Okay . . . I get the picture, but wouldn’t people accuse you of having a vested interested in this matter. After all, you stated above that you owned shares in the company you’re talking about here . . . Dendreon!

Ted: Of course. That’s the easiest way to attack the messenger! Never mind that a crime has been committed. It’s an old debating trick you probably learned in high school, Tyler: if you can’t attack your opponent on the issues, attack him or her personally.

In this case, people who didn’t want the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to hold hearings pointed to the “messengers” and accused us―believe me, I wasn’t the only one pointing out the corruption within the FDA or on Wall Street―of having ulterior motives. That was one of the reasons we heard as to why the House Committee refused to hold hearings on the COIs possessed by some members on the Provenge Advisory Committee. To wit, it was said of us that the people complaining to the House Committee included Dendreon shareholders . . . that if more men suffering from prostate cancer had complained, well, then, maybe the Committee would have had a reason to hold hearings.

Now, let’s look at how stupid this position is. Let’s say that Tyler runs the Tyler Coffee and Bagel Shoppe. And just as he was serving someone, a guy busts in and holds up the joint. He not only takes the money out of your cash register (stock in your company), but relieves the patron your serving of his coffee and bagel (the coffee is his ‘life saving drug’ . . . well, it is early in the morning and he does need his caffeine!). You report the theft to the police, but the patron is long gone. He’s late for work. The cop on the beat says, “Well, Tyler, we’re very sorry, but you have a vested interested in getting your money back. If the patron were to complain, perhaps we could do something.” Do you see how dumb the House Committee’s position would be if this was its stance? And we heard from some quarters that it was.

Either a crime was committed or it wasn’t. What difference does it make who reports the fact that there were egregious COIs? Stockholders reported the crime to the House Committee precisely because they are owners of the enterprise. That’s what stockholders are. Of course they had a vested interest. Oh, you might find it interesting to know that besides my congressman, five other congressmen also called for hearings in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who discovered evidence of malfeasance within the FDA in this matter.

So, here’s your question, again: Do you think a novel can make a difference in this situation, or did you merely need to blow off some steam? The answer to both is YES.

First, I think this novel will make a difference. I think it will show readers how, for example, waivers can be written by doctors, researchers, and others in the medical and healthcare profession who seek positions on FDA advisory committees . . . waivers that are intended to mask their conflicts of interest. The waivers don’t tell lies, but by masking the truth, they pervert the ‘system’ and allow people with significant conflicts of interest to sit in judgment of their competitors’ drugs. The people preparing these waivers shouldn’t be within 300 miles of the advisory committees they propose to sit on! Medical schools and universities are parties to this. Congress must step in and impose ethical behavior here. And, no, I will not comment on ethics in Congress. That’s another whole story! But I will tell you that this is not going to be an easy problem to solve, given the need for specialists on FDA advisory committees and the way money flows from pharmaceutical houses to universities and colleges today―that is, indirectly to these specialists through grants arranged with these educational institutions that are specifically intended to mask COIs―for the support of drug trials. But something must be done!

Second, am I angry? You bet! I’m angry that even after four―really more like eight―years of attempting to force the issue, the truth about how Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry have “captured” the SEC and the FDA has not been fully explored by Congress and the media. [The SEC and the FDA were the two agencies cited by Harry Markopolos in his testimony before Congress in the Madoff Ponzi scheme as being “captured” by the industries they were supposed to regulate. (See Endnote 1. TT] No doubt about it: writing this novel was a great way for me to blow off steam after years and years of trying to get the US government to do its job. I’ve come to the conclusion, unfortunately, that “that dog won’t hunt!”

Tyler: Ted, you created quite a shocking scene for the first murder’s discovery. Will you describe who is murdered and how it is discovered?

Ted: Sure. The book begins with a New York patrolman finding the head of a man spiked on the left horn of the famous Wall Street Bull. It’s sometimes called the “Charging Bull” or the “Bowling Green Bull,” and it’s a 7,000 pound bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica that stands in Bowling Green Park near Wall Street in New York City. The book opens with the hero, Detective-Specialist Joe Morelli, arriving on the scene at 4 a.m. and asking a deputy coroner what he has. Here’s the response. Note that the coroner calls the detective “Sarge”, which was his Army rank.

“What do we have here? What do we have here? What the hell does it look like we have here, Sarge?” It was Michael Antonetti, a Deputy Coroner. “The Running of the fookin’ Bulls in Pamplona, that’s what we have here!”

As an investor, I can’t tell you how many times I pictured the head of a biotech analyst spiked on the horns of that bull (laughter). Now that I’m writing the “script,” I put one there! But, of course, it’s all fiction, isn’t it? And in fiction, there are no limits! This is my story. The biotech analysts already have had their day. Now it’s my turn.

Tyler: Can you tell us whose head it is that’s found spiked on the Wall Street Bull’s horn and what might be the killer’s motive?

Ted: I will tell you it’s the head of a biotech stock analyst. But I don’t want to give away too much of the story. The killer’s motive is soon made clear to my readers.

Tyler: Tell us about what is at stake in the novel. I understand people in the healthcare industry are mixed up with Wall Street oligarchs?

Ted: This novel is nothing less than a primer for the American Public on how Wall Street and the healthcare industry manipulate biotech stocks and control the SEC and the FDA. It lends credence to what Harry Markopolos said in his testimony before Congress on the Madoff Affair about the SEC and the FDA. Specifically, he called them “captured agencies.” That is, both the SEC and the FDA are, basically, controlled by the industries they are supposed to regulate. How else can you explain the SEC missing Madoff and ignoring the evidence presented to them regarding the manipulation of biotech stocks over the last two decades? I give examples in the book’s footnotes of this. As well, I show in the novel how waivers can be written for submission to the FDA by people seeking positions on FDA advisory committees―people with conflicts of interest (COIs)―who will sit in judgment of a given company’s drug. Many times these companies compete with companies for whom people on the advisory committees perform work! The technique I describe, which is used throughout the pharmaceutical industry to “hide” conflicts of interests, is an open secret within the FDA. The waivers are approved with a wink and a nod. Talk about corruption! Corruption: thy name is the Food and Drug Administration. As for the SEC, it’s just asleep at the switch. Or lazy. Or incompetent. Probably all three.

Tyler: Ted, about those footnotes. In your Antarctica books, you included footnotes, maps, etc. and referred to your books as post-modern. Is that the case also with “Death by Wall Street”, and can you briefly, for readers not familiar with your previous books, define the post-modernism of the book?

Ted: Well, first, “Frozen in Time” has been described by some reviewers as being in a genre all its own, what with maps, photographs, footnotes, portions written in Spanish (with translations provided, etc.). But that aside, if you think about what many call a modern “novel”, you have what Elizabeth Lyon calls a Five Stage Structure:

  1. A character has a problem.
  2. Complications arise and conflict intensifies.
  3. Crises culminate in a climax.
  4. The problem is resolved.
  5. The hero or heroine learns something about self or life.(see Endnote 2)

 

Post-modern novels break these rules. There can be multiple protagonists (heroes), multiple antagonists (the bad guys), antagonists that may not be human (in “Frozen in Time”, the weather, the Frozen Continent (Ice), orcas, etc., were “enemies” of both the protagonists and the antogonists), multiple “complications,” situations/problems that may not be resolved―”Frozen in Time” left many questions unanswered at the end―heros or heroines that may not learn anything about self or life, and so forth. In fact, complaints from readers of “Frozen in Time”, demanding to know what happened at the end of the book (good-natured though they were), are what finally convinced me to “redefine” the novel as Book I of a trilogy. Scheesch . . . people like everything boxed and wrapped these day, with a bow on top!

Anyway, I don’t know that the hero in “Death by Wall Street”, Detective Lou Martelli, has a “problem” other than as the “problem” pertains to his job. He’s a detective, and he has been assigned to track down a murderer. I would ask the reader to think about who has the problem. Isn’t it really the American People? We are the ones who have the problem described in the novel. And while Detective Lou Martelli does indeed solve the murders, our problem is not solved. The failures in government that are identified in the book still exist today. We saw an example of them last May, when the stock market dropped 1000 points. The SEC still doesn’t have a clue as to what happened. (See Endnote 3) This is what passes for SEC oversight of our US stock markets.

So, is everything tied up in a nice neat bundle for the reader in “Death by Wall Street”? I don’t think so. Perhaps the book is more of an exposé masquerading as a novel, leaving the reader to ponder who is covering his or her “sixes”. It’s certainly not the US government!

Tyler: Will you tell us about Detective Martelli? What makes him an interesting or accomplished detective?

Ted: Martelli’s father, Pietro Martelli, was a former New York street cop. He was killed in the line of duty.

“Lou’s dad, Pietro, a New York street cop, carried [two silver dollars] in his pocket until the day he died in a hail of bullets from the guns of two escaped felons he had tracked to, and mortally wounded in, a warehouse on the docks in lower Manhattan. The funeral procession that followed his father’s casket to the cemetery in Brooklyn included more than 300 patrol cars from 17 states as far away as Florida to the south and Kansas to the west. When Lou became a Detective-Specialist, the Police Unity Tour presented him with a framed picture of his Dad. Underneath the picture was a small silver plaque inscribed with the words ‘Every Name Has a Story’. Not a day went by that Lou did not stop and think about the sacrifices his Dad and others in uniform made in the service of their State and local communities.”

Martelli was accepted into the NYPD following his release from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Here’s his story from the book:

“Martelli had been the crew member aboard a Blackhawk helicopter that was shot down in the April, 2003, invasion of Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now, with the help of a prosthetic leg, he walked with a slight limp. He worked for NYPD under a special waiver issued by the mayor. “Hey,” he always reminded those who asked about his injury, “at least I’m alive. That’s more than I can say for the pilot and copilot, who never made it out of the chopper!” What he never talked about was the fact that he lost his leg attempting to save them. Lou worked hard to keep his weight down, primarily to ease the burden on his legs. But at 6-foot, 2-inches and 190 pounds, walking still was difficult. He was a big, muscular guy, the result of working out at the Dominant Fitness & Health Club in Brooklyn almost every morning before he went to work. But with a big workout came a big appetite, so it was a constant fight to stay away from the junk food that beckoned from the vending machine outside his office door.”

I created this character to honor a good friend Susan and I lost in the invasion on Baghdad in 2003, Army CPT Jimmy Adamouski, a Blackhawk pilot, whose helicopter was shot down. (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/jfadamouski.htm)

The reader will have to believe that NYPD trained Lou. He’s got a good heart . . . a Samaritan, actually, with a wife and two kids. He’s smart, intuitive, in tune with the street. He loves to banter with women, and I think readers will enjoy watching him “in action.”

Tyler: I understand there are three murders in all. What is similar about the murders that makes Detective Martelli tie them together?

Ted: Now, Tyler, I’m not going to give away the story, but when three people lose their heads in a very short period of time, one does have to wonder! (laughter)

Tyler: What would you say is the biggest obstacle that Martelli faces in solving the murders?

Ted: As is always the case, a lack of leads. Martelli just can’t get his hands around anything concrete concerning who is audacious enough to spike a head on the Wall Street Bull, given the surveillance put in place after 9/11. I mean, there are cameras all over the place, and yet, here comes someone in the middle of the night, takes a head out of a bag, spikes it on the left horn of the bull, and leaves. Pretty gutsy, wouldn’t your say? And yet, there’s almost nothing to go on in pursuit of the perp.

Tyler: Ted, your past novels have been tied to real life events. Is there any truth or basis in reality in the events in this novel also?

Ted: The murders are fiction. But the book is laced with facts, allbethem masked. The reader can believe everything found in the footnotes. The URLs [Internet addresses. TT] found there will take you, for example, to Quarterly Reports of the Office of the Inspector General for the Security and Exchange Commission, where you will find an example of how an investor called the Commission’s attention to, among other things, a Bear Raid on a biotech stock in 2009 that took the stock from $24.50 to $7.50 in 75 seconds, just minutes before the company was to report good news. Clearly, it was the last opportunity for those who were “short” the stock to cover their positions. Neither the people who run the Over the Counter (OTC) market nor the SEC did anything in the matter. Hell, the SEC still hasn’t explained the stock market’s plunge on May 6, 2010, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped almost 1,000 points. This is what passes for stock market oversight and regulation in this country! This is what my book is about, in the greater sense. In fact, here is one passage that I think sums up everything in one neat bundle:

“Martelli looked at the dead man’s head. The eyes were wide open, staring down on the Financial District, once America’s Mecca of optimism for the future of the country and the engine of its aggressive growth. Now, the ‘Street,’ as it was known, was the despised source of the country’s ruin . . . home to the oligarchs who raped and pillaged Main Street while awarding themselves outrageous salaries and stock options, their ‘rewards’ for having cheated, swindled, and defrauded the Middle Class of their savings and retirement funds.”

And through it all, continuing to the present, the SEC is MIA.

Tyler: What made you decide to tell this story?

Ted: Just what the title of the book says: Wall Street is getting away with murder . . . literally. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of men, women, and children have died because Wall Street has driven biotech companies either into the ground or made it so difficult for them to raise money in the public markets that they can’t fund the trials mandated by the FDA. Where is the justice for those whose voices can no longer be heard? Who will speak for the dead?

Tyler: You’ve created many characters on Wall Street and in healthcare with less than desirable traits. Would it be fair to call these characters villains?

Ted: That’s a fair representation. I hope the readers come to loathe them as much as I do.

Tyler: Did you find any pleasure in creating these rather despicable characters or were they completely repugnant to you?

Ted: Absolutely! I took great pleasure in bringing “to life” the vision I’ve had for years regarding what many of these people actually “looked” like. They are the dregs of society. Totally repugnant.

Tyler: Do they have any redeeming qualities, or is it all greed? How do you think they get to that point where greed is what controls them?

Ted: I’m hard pressed to identify any redeeming qualities about the people on Wall Street. They are driven by only one thing: money. Not that this is new. I think they would sell their own grandmothers down the river if it meant they could make a few pennies on a trade.

It’s Wall Street that almost single-handily brought this nation to its knees two years ago. Who the Hell even understands 90% of the “investment vehicles” they play with these days or the computerized market machinations that are performed at lightning speeds, all just to skim a fraction of a penny per share off a trade of millions of shares at a time.

How does this a nation build? How does this foster investment in a greater America? How does this produce jobs?

Wall Street exists today for Wall Street, not as the engine for this nation’s growth.

Tyler: Beyond being a good murder mystery, do you hope “Death by Wall Street” makes a longer lasting impression on readers, and if so, how?

Ted: I hope readers become so angry after reading “Death by Wall Street”that they start demanding reforms within the SEC and FDA . . . and on Wall Street. We must rein in the computerized trading abuses . . . among them naked short selling and flash trading. Not that Congress is going to do anything. I’ve broken my pick for many years attempting to get my congressman and senators to take up the fight. None of the three is worth a tinker’s damn. Maybe someone else will have some luck.

I will say this. In the case of Dendreon’s Provenge, the treatment was for end stage prostate cancer. Men have never been very good advocates of their own health. Women, on the other hand, are ready to fight tooth and nail for what they need when it comes to their health. If . . . IF . . . women had prostates, and if . . . IF . . . they had known in the spring of 2007 that Provenge would have helped them―and by the way, the treatment was just approved in April this year, three years later than it should have been because of well-documented “irregularities” in the Provenge approval process uncovered in the spring of 2007 (see DeepCapture)―women would have marched on the FDA in May, 2007 and castrated every male in the agency before turning their attention to the men in Congress!

I hope men will become the advocates of their health that women are. Perhaps after they read “Death by Wall Street” and Mark Mitchell’s “DeepCapture” article, they will take their health more seriously than has been evidenced in the past.

Tyler: Will Detective Martelli have more cases to solve, or do you think this book will be the only one with him as the main character?

Ted: Who knows? I never know what I’m going to write until I wake up in the morning.

Tyler: Thank you, Ted, for the opportunity to interview you today. Before we go will you tell us about your Web site and what additional information can be found there about “Death by Wall Street”?

Ted: My website is: http://www.theodorecohennovels.com/

Additional information can be found on the Amazon.com site for the book.

Tyler: Thanks again, Ted, for joining me today. Best of luck with “Death By Wall Street” and your many other literary endeavors.

Endnotes:

  1. http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1021435842; start at 14:30 minutes into the video clip
  2. Elizabeth Lyon, “Manuscript Makeover, Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford To Ignore,” A Perigee Book, Penguin Group, New York, 2008
  3. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/34886/ About $700 billion of U.S. stock market value was erased in less than 10 minutes.


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