Pfizer: Representation Without Taxation

Inversion sure is the right word for the Allergan/Pfizer deal.  Because what got the colonists lathered up enough to fight a war against the one global super power at the time was taxation without representation.

Somehow that idea got turned on its head, and now one of the largest drug companies in America wants the representation the United States has to offer without the commensurate taxation (all this, mind you, from a voter registered as Republican).

From a shareholder perspective, it’s easy to connect the dots.  Lower taxes means higher earnings, and higher earnings means a higher stock price, and presto, shareholder value has been increased.  What else would anyone expect the senior leadership and board to do?

But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something.

Pfizer CEO Ian Read told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell in a November 23 interview the transaction was “a great deal for America,” a claim that hubris-wise was eerily reminiscent of “Mission accomplished.”

Read goes on to reference the combined 40,000 employees in the United States.  Does he mean the same 40,000 employees who get legal protections, security, access to roads, air travel, FDA oversight, a U.S. passport and unbridled freedom?

But the benefits of the deal go far beyond the tax benefits apparently.  “It enables us to incorporate [Allergen CEO] Brent’s open development philosophy.”

I’m not sure such philosophical advantages can’t be accomplished with a hop across the pond, or for that matter, a phone call.

What could be clouding Read’s thinking, or his sense of propriety regarding a Briton’s stewardship an American company?  Maybe, he’s so excited about sticking it to the U.S. taxpayer, that his erection has gone way past the four hours that Pfizer’s VIAGRA® warns against.

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