The Financial Times of London published on 8th January a piece titled ” Satyam Scandalises”. The FT provides its own insights on the huge Satyam Fraud. The FT in the opening para of this article said : “India is rarely as shiny as its fans insist. The $1bn fraud perpetrated by Satyam Computer Services will not only throw the $40bn software and outsourcing industry into a tailspin, it will also raise disturbing questions about the risks of doing business in India – and even the sustainability of the country’s much-vaunted growth miracle.” This I call fishing in troubled waters.
The very next day, on 9th January, the Llyods TSB Bank Plc, a UK Corporation headquartered in London admitted to committing a series of serious fraud ( spanning some 12 years !!) that also raises disturbing questions about the risks of doing business in the UK. The Lloyds TSB Bank plc (Lloyds) has agreed to forfeit $350 million to the United States and to the New York County District Attorney’s Office for committing the crime of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The IEEPA issues regulations that prohibit exportation of services from the United States to certain notified countries including Iran & Sudan.
What did Lloyd Bank do ? Like Ramalinga Raju, they fudged transactions for almost a dozen years.Lloyd Bank, committed the crime of deliberately removing material informations from proscribed transactions that would have identified the violators of the IEEPA. Lloyd removed the names of customers,banks and their addresses ( stripping / repairing as they call it) from international wire transfers that prevented the US authorities from scrutinising these transactions and detect violations of IEEPA. Lloyd’s conduct is believed to have the potential of financing terrorist activities.
Raju’s conduct is a national shame and he has let us down.Even the Gods will not pardon him for denting the pride of Indian entrepreneurship. I am not saying that all Indian business men are paragons of virtue. But a broad brush approach is mischievous.
I know our British friends always enjoy pouring oil on a burning fire or rub salt on deep wounds. Speaking of double standards, our erstwhile colonial rulers revel in it. My two cents of advise – Charity begins at home.