Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Justice is Served: Hedge Fund Titan is Slammed

Like a woman scorned, Lady Justice took the ultimate revenge; A Guilty Verdict. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney, Preet Bharara, made good on his promise to crack down on illegal trading on Wall Street. After a week of deliberations, the verdict is in and Galleon Group Founder, Rajaratnam, was found guilty on 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. The co-founder and former head of the Galleon Group is officially a convicted Felon, facing 15-19 years in prison. Three cheers for Justice and the fight against unbridled greed in corporate America.

During the trial the Jurors listened hours of testimony and dozens of secretly recorded calls that clearly revealed that Rajaratnam was trafficking in illicit information. An interview of the jurors revealed their efforts not to rush to judgment. Ms. Gorman, one of the jurors, explained that they painstakingly comb through the stock charts, trading records and witness photos. Adding that they went through the evidence deal by deal. When questioned, jurors admitted to being very impressed by the Sri Lankan defendant and referred to him as a “smart man”. Nevertheless, the prosecutor provided hard evidence that was very persuasive in the end.

In my view, insider trading is a directly related to greed, and the prevalence of it in the finance industry is rampant. These hedge fund managers and traders feel privileged, above the law, and think that they’re so much smarter than the rest of us. They’re so blinded by their own narcissism and conceit, that they are convinced no one will ever see through their scheme. Rajaratnam was ever so clever, but obviously not clever enough. This case is a tragedy on many levels, particularly that which concerns humanity. I think of how this brilliant Sri Lankan could have been a celebrated hero to poor, young men and women in his country and to struggling immigrants here in America, but instead he opted to worship money and disgrace his family and his country.

This is not the last we will hear about this vast insider trading case, there are aparently 12 more traders that have been lassoed into this case, so I am sure they are beginning to realize the severity of their predicament.

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