Monday, January 12, 2009

Mess up bigtime and you are safe everywhere

The famed American justice system is often compared by other nationals, notably Indian NRIs settled in the US to condemn the slowness of proceedings and the abysmally low rate of convictions back home. The surging nationalistic pride is swallowed by the natives (that despite recognizing the bother of having to control a population of a billion plus people by any Government) read them and even feel it is something that deserved to be condemned, while pining for some early turnaround in the Indian way of meting out justice.

But then they get to read about the travails of Mr.Bernard Madoff that made-off with his $50 billion ponzi scheme. Mr. Madoff was charged last month with securities fraud but has remained free since posting bail. Excerpts from NYT report.

"The judge’s ruling allows Mr. Madoff to remain in his Manhattan apartment, wearing an electronic monitoring device and being watched around the clock by a security team paid for by his wife.

Prosecutors had asked the court to revoke Mr. Madoff’s $10 million bail, secured by various family homes held in his wife’s name, after he violated a court-ordered asset freeze by mailing about $1 million in expensive watches and jewelry to family and friends on Christmas Eve.

In addition to the jewelry that was sent out, prosecutors said, Mr. Madoff had plans to transfer $200 million to $300 million of investors’ money to family members and friends. When authorities searched Mr. Madoff’s office desk, they found $173 million in signed checks ready to be sent."
I am sure it would make NRIs feel a lot lighter.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

When risk gets taken to the extremes...

I have always admired intelligent risk takers. The `intelligent' is the operative - take it to mean the faculty to figure out how much to commit to an adventure that leaves sufficient sustenance in the end if things were to go horribly wrong. And we thought high networth entrepreneurs are too good at it.
I stand corrected after reading about Adolf Merckle, the wealthy German businessman with a networth of over 9 billion euros committed suicide by hurling himself before a speeding train. The billionaire, 74, was said by his family to have been “broken” by the sight of his business empire, which ranged from pharmaceuticals to cement, crumbling. He died on Monday evening, apparently hit by a train a few hundred metres from his home in southern Germany.
What a horrible end...!

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