Raj Pays The Max
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  • sonofagunforbeer

    I think Raj Rajaratnam was head of Galleon, a Hedge fund whereas Rajat Gupta is the accused head of McKinsey.

  • WigWag

    “Perhaps there is still room for McKinsey, the firm Raj headed and betrayed, to come after what’s left of his money with a crack team of relentless legal bloodhounds. Going after him mercilessly and pursuing every dime is one way that McKinsey could demonstrate to its clients that the firm has a zero tolerance policy towards abuses of client trust. Let him worry as he sits in prison that what’s left of his fortune will be pulled to pieces by the most vicious litigators in the business.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    I believe that Raj ran Galleon not McKinsey. Professor Mead may be thinking of the recently indicted Rajat Gupta who allegedly gave inside information to Raj.

  • Wrong Raj(at)

    Professor Mead,

    C’mon! How about referring to Rajaratnam by his last name instead of calling him Raj? That may help you in distinguishing between Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta (the former McKinsey head).

  • Points of fact aside, I think there is one serious problem with articles of this kind. As with a previous post or two, Prof Mead, you risk offending the sensibilities of certain tender-minded people, who seem to overflow with forbearance and mercy towards the big important advantage-takers (“HEY! Let him who is without sin . . .”) – whereas their compassion for the TAKEN seems to come in far more measured doses.

    Then again, who am I to question a certain school of logic? “I mean [the winner might argue], if he’s STOOPID enough to believe it, and I’m SMART enough to run with it, who’s worse for my success IN THE LONG RUN?” No doubt there is a kind of rough – if not jagged-toothed – social justice inherent a system which proudly rewards the smart and therefore deserving (however unscrupulous), while shamelessly punishing the “stupid” and thus UNdeserving (however differently- advantaged from the outset). I believe there’ve even been a notable few writers – some of them still pretty widely revered and read (Bernard Shaw and Oswald Spengler being two that come to mind) – who defended dogs eating dogs as one of the chief ways History has always moved forward.

    OTOH, what if many of the Mead-critics and Madof- and Rajaratnam-extenuators are simply trying to be better, more consistent Christians (or Jews, or Muslims, or Hindus, etc)? That IS one possibility that really disturbs me. For in that case I have a question. Why is it that so many Americans, many of them both articulately intelligent AND devoutly religious (at least the ones I tend to hear from), appear so ready to forgive sinners of the BIG, clever, aggressively manipulative kind? Whereas they seem so eager to punish sinners of the petty, gullible, appetite-driven kind? Which of the two kinds is the Book of Proverbs harder on, I wonder?

    Anyhow, something tells me if Adam Smith or any of the early Victorians were alive today, they’d say our present “culture” has been one really STOOPID way to fuel (or recover) a free-market economy. Much more any other kind.

  • Toni

    From the article: “Mr. Rajaratnam’s total fines and forfeiture paid to the government are among the largest ever paid by an individual white-collar defendant.”

    He has also been sentenced to 11 years in prison, “the longest-ever prison sentence for insider trading,” according to the Times.

    I don’t believe Mr. Rajaratnam ever calculated his own risks versus the long-term wealth of his family. He gambled that he wouldn’t get caught.

    I also think Prof. Mead frets too much about whatever millions are left in Rajaratnam family hands. They may behave like other heirs and fritter them away. But one thing we know for sure: they have before them an object lesson in criminal business behavior. I doubt any Rajaratnam heir is likely to get up to sharp financial practices.

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