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May 13 2011

Rajaratnam Roundup

One of the few things I miss about working in a convenience store is that I used to be able to read 5 or 6 newspapers a day and even take them home after I cut out the masthead.  It’s like those paperback books with the cover ripped off, the publisher doesn’t charge you for the unsold stock and since it’s too damn expensive to handle the whole thing the cover will do for the refund.  Who wants to read a coverless book anyway?

Heh.

Now the Daily News is great for sports and has 3 pages of comics, but the one I really hoped wouldn’t sell out when I was addicted to dead trees was The New York Times.  Their paywall was anticipated with much trepidation and loathing but I’ve personally found it a great convenience.  I used to get nagged all the time to register, but now hardly ever because they don’t count views from blogs like this one or even aggregators like Google.

If you are having a problem I suggest you get a selective cookie deleter and search and destroy the ones containing “nyt”.  There’s also a tool called NYTClean that I’m told works except I’ve never had to use it.

All of which is an introduction to this roundup of the not so Gray Lady’s coverage of the Rajaratnam verdict that I actually did pick up from the front page of their International Herald Tribune subsidiary.

So if I start getting nasty messages I’m going to blame you, dear reader.  It’s one of the sacrifices I make for blogging.

Wall Street, Held Accountable

The New York Times

Published: May 11, 2011

It is sometimes said insider trading is a victimless crime. It is not. Was it good for Goldman Sachs’s reputation to have wiretaps played in court of a director leaking confidential information to Mr. Rajaratnam? Or for Intel, I.B.M., McKinsey or other companies to have illegal inside tips about them passed to him and his cronies?

More fundamentally, everyone affected by markets distorted by such illicit trading is a victim. The prosecution of Mr. Rajaratnam was a test of whether this kind of fraud is still offensive to an American jury.



The crimes he was tried for began in 2003 and ended in 2009, a period when markets were out of control. Had he been acquitted, Americans might have concluded that it was O.K. for an insider to play the markets as dishonestly as he did because they are basically rigged.

Galleon Chief’s Web of Friends Proved Crucial to Scheme

By PETER LATTMAN and AZAM AHMED, The New York Times

May 11, 2011, 7:28 pm

In many respects, Mr. Rajaratnam was no different from the thousands of Wall Street stock pickers who diligently network with corporate executives and industry experts to gain an investment edge. But Mr. Rajaratnam, a 53-year-old Sri Lankan native, sought out information that was confidential, beyond the reach of research, and illegally traded on it, a jury in Federal District Court in Manhattan found on Wednesday, convicting him on all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy.

Next Up, a Crackdown on Outside-Expert Firms

By EVELYN M. RUSLI, The New York Times

May 11, 2011, 9:11 pm

Federal authorities have tried to quell the anxiety by drawing a distinction between the legitimate players and the bad actors. In March, Preet S. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said that there was “nothing inherently wrong or bad about hedge funds or expert networking firms or aggressive market research, for that matter.”

Such statements have provided little reassurance. Many financial firms that are still using expert networks have moved their business to the largest outfits with the most established compliance practices

“If this little industry is to survive, it’s going to have to glow with virtue, which means a lot of self-regulation,” said Robert Weisberg, a professor of criminal law at Stanford.

Also there are these two handy charts-

Happy nag free reading!

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