Headlines : 8th January, 2009

India has re-invented the concept of zero again, since the age of Brahmagupta. We now define it as Rs. 7,000 crores.

Am sure you’ve read the details. But how does one claim that 7,000 crores in the balance sheet is “non-existent”? To be fair to George Fernandez and the NDA, they at least had those coffins to show for their efforts. Where are those good old days?

In his letter, Ramalinga Raju claims that nobody – him, his family, the Board or the Independent Directors – benefited from the fraud. No wonder everyone’s saying that he broke all the rules of corporate governance. In case of fraud, at least one of these parties should have benefited.

The possible impact on the other IT companies is being debated. Experts agree that it could go both ways – either the image of the whole IT sector could get tarnished. Or the image of the whole IT sector could get severely tarnished.

The role of the auditor PwC in this mess. Lets see. Satyam pays PwC for its services. In return, PwC has to verify the accuracy of Satyam’s financial statements without having its commercial interests compromised by the client relationship. Basically, it comes down to ethics. What could possibly go wrong here?

Wonder who designed this system where auditing firms derive their economic incentives from the client, whom they are supposed to “objectively” scrutinize. It’s laughable, really. We all know that the concept of business ethics is as non-existent as Satyam’s cash reserves.

Potential suitors for Satyam are hard to come by. L & T has ruled itself out, unless it can pay for the acquisition with ‘Monopoly’ money. Fair enough.

This is not the first time the IT sector has let down the country though. Remember BJP and its ‘India Shining’ campaign in 2004?

Back to 26-11. Chaos in Pakistan. Mehmud Durrani, from the NSA, was fired by Prime Minister Gilani for admitting Kasab was one of them. Pakistan has issued a new statement declaring Durrani a ‘non-state actor’.

Meanwhile, all possible steps are being taken to beef up internal security. Like nominating terrorist Abu Salem’s best buddy for the Lucknow seat in the upcoming elections.

Manmohan Singh has condemned the conflict in the Gaza and called for the immediate cessation of hostilities. It’s heartening to see him retain his sense of humor in these troubled times.

Btw, Manmohan Singh is in Kerala today to inaugurate the new Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala. Basically, Amir Kasab’s pals will have to take a long detour if they want to hitch a ride in one of the Academy’s ships.

It’s the fourth day of the nationwide strike called by the PSU oil companies. More bad news for the carmakers, huh? Now, the public cant drive around the cars they don’t want to buy.

After Wall Street and Detroit, its now the turn of the porn industry to ask the Fed for a bail out. Predictably, in response, they were asked to go screw themselves.

Having said that, the porn industry is one special interest group that has a strong lobbying presence in Washington. It’s called the Senate.



    1. @Violet : Surely I couldn’t be a bigger letdown than Ramalinga Raju? 😉 Am not done with Satyam yet. Will be delving deeper in tomorrow’s post.


  1. See – things never change – just because Sanjay Dutt is a celebrity, how can he contest from Lucknow? Is he going to live there? Has he ever lived there? Does he know anything about the place? (his sister does an equally bad job – I am unfortunate enough to live in her constituency, and even though she lives down the road from me, there seems to be no sign of improvement)


    1. @ Sanjana – It does look like a highly cynical move from the SP. He’ll contest “subject to clearance by the Supreme Court and the Election Commission.” Are we that short of qualified candidates in this country?
      Shekhawat may have drawn inspiration from John McCain. Hopefully, the fundamentals of his anatomy are still strong.


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