Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The losses you see are only the losses you're allowed to see!

The headline for this is courtesy SS. Already television is dubbing Ramalinga Raju's 'creation' of Rs 5000 crore as India's Enron, though frankly, while Satyam was a large company and all, Rs 5000 crore is peanuts compared to what might be uncovered at certain companies if stricter auditing norms are brought in. Bookcooking is rampant in Indian companies and massive rewards have always been given to those who excel at this art. For the record - Enron had around $23 billion in liabilities, after the dust settle on Satyam, I think the amount here might be closer to $1 billion.
But what happends to PriceWaterhouseCoopers is a slightly larger question? Enron took down their auditors and PwC audits quite a few Indian firms and to manage to get away with an accounting fraud of such proportions means that either auditors are lazy and not doing their jobs or are criminally liable. Maybe both. Surprisingly the Satyam website at the time of writing this blog had not updated itself nor had the site where useless wankers were defending Raju (How great they must feel now that their jobs are probably worthless and in this market I doubt 50,000 people can be absorbed by anyone). No wait, Business news sites had managed to update themselves - but to be fair, the media had climbed onto his back over the past few weeks. I wonder if Satyam will still sue the UN? Anyway, check out the Google news feed here for the latest.
In a completely unrelated story quite a few of us in Delhi got calls a couple of years ago to get headhunted by Satyam. Ramalinga Raju was looking for a ghostwriter for his book and by god they did trawl the depths to find someone - they even called me after they started with my former Managing Editor, who was flabbergasted. The money (from non-existent accounts obviously) was tremendous (10x what I earned those days) but something smelled fishy, and nobody I know took up the job. I wonder if anyone did, he or she can write a best-seller now on the anatomy of a crook!
By the way, the denial printed on the Britney case is hilarious - but even more inexcusable is that Mail Today is carrying on the story! But the question is did Sandip plant the story thanks to a malleable person to promote his flagging star? Or is it as someone says a easy way to brighten up a slow news day - claim some Hollywood celeb is coming to India or has some random Indian connection just because they happened to wear a Sari or a 'dot' - no sources, but it gives you an excuse to put a picture of ScarJo or some other babe on the first page of the supplement.

And on a final note, The Times (of London) has a great article explaining exactly why Tintin, boy reporter was a homosexual. Maybe that is why two generations of middle class young boys in India who grew up in the 70's and 80's have ambivalent sexual feelings. Hmmm...


Anonymous said...

Ah, we have our own Madoff! What a big screw-up. And so many unsuspecting people invested their life time savings in companies such as Satyam. Did he say he didn't profit from any of it? It's a pity this happened in India, because the b*****d will get away with it. Any chance the Americans can screw the daylights out of him, since he's listed on NYSE? I sincerely hope someone does.

Anonymous said...

what about bada bhai and chota bhai? are we really sure on what those guys are upto? they will make enron look like a walk in the park.

- srini

Anonymous said...

Guess what the page in praise of Raju has been blocked since late afternoon yesterday!!
Also, now that he is missing, Raju has proved to the world that he is just a common thief and two-bit punk. All the sanctimonious bleating about his conscience was a charade, wasn't it?