The initial aftermath of L'affaire de Satyam there was a decided lack of inventiveness with headlines and coverage. Everything has been rather run of the hill 'Dot Con'. Twice over! - though in an inside page - Mint's 'Fraud' was classic understatement, but Fraud was horribly overused much like 'Scam' during the last decade. ET's 'Satyam, a Big Lie' wasn't a bad headline, but it could have been so much better. I was just doing a a checklist of rejected headlines with some senior printmen and here are some of the ones I got.
'Ram Naam Satyam Hai'
'From SWITCH to Witch'
Genuinely disappointed. I know, most people will think how I can be so callous with the jobs of 53,000 people of the line and Raju himself supposedly disappearing (people want to know where he is) to some country with whom India obviously does not have an extradition treaty (CNN-IBN claims otherwise). Pakistan perhaps? I mean if I were him, that would be my first choice given the current geopolitical climate (talking of Pakistan, nice satire from The Dawn on the frothing Pakistani media). The US is a spectacularly bad choice but then again the big guns at Enron didn't go to jail did they?
But there is still too much frothing at the mouth with the media (Udayan yesterday felt personally slighted - he even demanded that Raju be hanged on national television in so many words - take a chill pill Udayan, seriously) on the Raju affair. Granted the frothing at the mouth has been carying on for a while - last week Harish Salve castigated Shivnath Thukral on TV for doing that, though over the last 24 hours Salve has been desperately appearing on TV trying to distance himself from the fact that he was (very) recently hired by Satyam. Which is what made his questioning on Profit last night particularly hilarious.
I have a bad feeling that Raju might have just been siphoning off the money and is now lying (Mark To Market was quite interesting today) saying that company was up shit creek anyway and was horribly run - I mean three percent margins - who makes those. I am very sure the guy has been taking the money and putting it into his coffers - or his son's coffers over the past few years. But then again, I'm just speculating like everyone else. The skeletons will start falling over the next few weeks and I won't be surprised if some politicians get badly burned as well.
Anyway, I'm open to guys suggesting what the headlines today should have been in the comments. And on another note, Smoke House Grill really has to reduce their prices! Great place, but in a recession charging 500 bucks for a Martini after taxes and charges is insane.