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Biosecurities Asphyxiate Famed Financier
April 16, 2023
PALO ALTO--Under pressure from the Food & Drug Administration and the Securities & Exchange Commission, spokespeople for the family of famed financier Michael Milken confirmed Friday that his death late last month was likely related to his ingestion of experimental, high-yield 'biosecurities.' "Mike was an innovator, and a risk-taker," recalls Lillian Oval, director of the Milken Family Foundation. "Biosecurities were part of his vision for the future, and, though he believed them to be safe, he knew that there were risks. But he was a pioneer, and that's what a pioneer does."
Biosecurities, developed by Vitomus, LLC, a privately funded consortium of banks, brokerages, and biotech firms, represent a cutting-edge combination of financial and biological technologies. Each of the 'securities' is a "viable, engineered bio-organism" designed with the behaviors and qualities of a financial instrument. "The idea is really quite simple," explains Erik Ween, Vitomus' Chief Research Officer. "We take a simple single-celled organism, in some cases even a virus, and redesign it so that it can embody, for example, a convertible debenture, or even just a share of common stock."
Through the use of advanced techniques for genetically encoding mathematical and computational algorithms, Vitomus' member engineers have created bacteria whose growth rate mimics the coupon payments associated with some bonds, and have engineered special ciliates whose reproductive cell-division coincides with stock splits. "The trick isn't really to define biological behaviors to represent financial behaviors. That's easy enough," Ween explains. "The essence of these instruments is really trust and authentication. Self-authenticating, encrypted DNA sequences unique to each organism allow you to identify them and know their legitimacy."
Once ingested, short-term biosecurities typically live in the mouth and throat, with longer-term notes favoring the blood, lower intestines, and abdominal tissue. Transactions between 'carriers' are typically achieved through close contact or exchange of bodily fluids.
"It's really quite a new paradigm in the financial world," notes Merrill Lynch VP of Private Banking Barry Vary. "What I used to achieve through the touch of a button, I now do with a deep, wet kiss. There's a new intimacy to high-value transactions that's really quite refreshing."
Originally designed as a more private, more secure replacement for the classic 'bearer bond,' biosecurities have gained a foothold among wealthy traders eager to avoid the scrutiny of conventional markets and exchanges.
Milken, a vocal advocate of the new instruments and a key member of the Vitomus advisory board, had reportedly converted much of his portfolio to the new securities, and was actively involved in the creation of synthetic and hybrid instruments through novel combinations of the organisms. "Mike was way ahead of all of us," comments Vitomus' Ween. "I heard that he was growing lots of synthetic puts and, as you might expect, was heavily into the high-yield end of the spectrum."
Though the Milken family has declined to identify specific instruments, experts speculate that his untimely death was the result of run-away growth in his high-yield investments. "The doctors have informed us that Mike died as the result of a constricting inflammation in the throat area," reported a family spokesperson. "And we have been led to understand that this inflammation was the result of the appearance of unusually large colonies of unidentified bacteria."
Responding to the family's announcement, Congresswoman Barbie Hi (D-MI), Chair of the House Committee on Edible and Ingestible Objects, put out an immediate call for an investigation: "This is a tragic loss, and it must not be in vain. My promise to the American people is that I will not rest until we know what these things are and what dangers they pose to the public health."
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