Wednesday, January 28, 2009


How to survive job losses in the current Economic meltdown, is a grave problem to be addressed forthwith. It is a realistic problem snowbowling with devastating effect, and our community members are also facing the heat. As I write this post, a friend has just called in to say, that two of his relatives one in US and another in Singapore have lost their jobs, and are confused and so very worried, as to their future.

I feel experts and professionals in the field of human behavioral science, should take an active step in spreading their knowledge, in such a way that precious lives are not lost, on spur of the moment decisions, where the jobless family head takes a decision.

A case in point is a report in today’s News Paper about a medical technician Ervin Antonio Lupoe, who with his wife had been sacked from their jobs in a medical centre, took the drastic step of shooting all their five children and themselves. The rationale for this act, as given by Ervin in a fax letter sent to a TV channel was that – Why leave the children to a stranger ?

I think this horrific action may have been averted, if Ervin and his wife, may have received some sort of councelling.

Now this is horrific, and for this reason it is very important that the problem should be addressed with utmost urgency. On the day when Ervin took his life and that of his family, 70,000 people across the world, including 55,000 in US alone have lost heir jobs, not account of personal inefficiency to deliver, but because of global financial crisis, in which in most of the cases, they were not to be blamed.

Big business organizations do not shed jobs on impulse. The Management plans it much in advance, and identifies the persons, who will be given the sack. So the top management knows in advance.

Is it not possible for some humanitarian organization to take up the mantle of helping out by reaching out to those, who are to loose their jobs ? If some sort of personal contact is established with them , at least such horrific incidents can be in the least be avoided. A safety net to overcome remorse and depression, would be a welcome step.

A planned strategy with the business organization, wanting to shed jobs, and social net work groups, could be of great help.

What do you think of this idea ? Is it feasible ? Suggestions are welcome.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I am not so much concerned with those holding Satyam shares, (they were just out there to capitalize on others hard work, with their flush funds. I agree Capital is needed, but getting up each morning, logging on to investment sites, making a few phone calls, getting ‘insider’ information and buying/selling shares, personally to me, does not constitute, honest labor – so I am not that concerned )

I am more concerned with the life and fate of the talented and resourceful employees of Satyam, who being true and honest to their company, had contributed so much, and now they find themselves in a very precarious situation. My heart goes out to them.

Yesterday two important decisions were taken by the UPA Government, which shows that, carrots have long been given, now the ‘stick’ has to be wielded. The oil strike was broken by using ESMA and Satyam Board was dismissed and Ramlinga Raju made to surrender. It is to be seen how soon he starts ‘singing’.

Myself being a real ‘dud’ in matters concerning finance, I could not fathom, how, all of a sudden, a reputed and leading I/T company, having full work load, can all of a sudden collapse. Where has the money gone. The reputation of its Founder and the Board is in tatters, but we have to find the money, it must be parked some where.

I was thinking on this line, when I came across an interesting article entitled

Is India a Poor Country? Black Money, World Aid and The Coming Sovereign Crack Down of Tax Havens.
DK Matai - October 20, 2008

I think the Satyam employees should constitute a Committee comprising of their best finance whiz kids, who should then fly to Switzerland and also check out other tax heavens. And I am sure, they will surely find the hidden hoards, so at least, and lay claim to it, so that they can continue to contribute to the growth of the company, retaining their customer base, and also drawing their salaries.

I have just copy pasted, some of the salient points I found to be of interest in the article. Hope it will prove to be an eye opener. My eyes had simply popped out, as I read the contents.
Surprisingly, India -- still regarded as a poor country by many -- has USD 1.5 trillion in Swiss banks, which is more black money than the rest of the world combined. This is thought to be unaccounted money earned in India by inappropriate means as otherwise any Indian citizen or corporation wishing to open a bank account abroad has to take permission from the Reserve Bank of India and records do not show any such permissions granted for deposits in Switzerland.

A 2006 report of the Swiss Banking Association claims Indians are the biggest depositors of black money in banks located in Switzerland. Top five countries in terms of such deposits are:


Russia: USD 470 billion
United Kingdom: USD 390 billion
Ukraine: USD 100 billion
China: USD 96 billion

With private account deposits of USD 1.5 trillion in foreign reserve which have been misappropriated, an amount 10 times larger than India's foreign debt -- USD 155+ billion -- one needs to rethink if India is a poor country?

It is argued that once this huge amount of black money and property comes back to India, the entire foreign debt can be repaid immediately, still leaving a huge surplus amount of foreign exchange reserves in India. Some 80,000 Indians travel to Switzerland every year, of whom 25,000 travel very frequently. "Obviously, these people won't be tourists. They must be travelling there for some other reason," believes an official involved in tracking illegal money. And, clearly, he is not referring to the commerce ministry bureaucrats who have been flying in and out of Geneva ever since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations went into a tailspin!
The well known economist Professor Arun Kumar estimates black money generation in India to be currently 50% of the GDP. The growth of black money in proportional percentage to the GDP has shown an alarming increase in recent years, from 20% in the 1980s to 45 - 50% at the turn of the century. It is further estimated by experts that one per cent of the world's population holds more than 57 per cent of total global wealth, routing it invariably through tax havens. ATCA's preliminary investigation to analyse the Swiss banking chain and to assess Indian wealth in that single country, suggests that the number is much larger than the USD 1.4 trillion figure and is more likely to be near USD 3 trillion. The larger figure can be derived from the deposits in vaults of gold, diamonds and other precious gems alongside assets managed out of Switzerland in other tax havens. There are some well known 'slush parks' like St Kitts, Antigua, Bahamas, Isle of Man and Liechtenstein that multiply such holdings manifold with the central management points in Switzerland.
I HAVE MADE MY POINT ! THANK YOU DK MATAI - now to some extent I know where the Satyam money is parked. Happy hunting !!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SATYAM TRUTH – Raju confesses to the biggest corporate fraud in India

The Telegraph has termed it as ‘SATYAM LIE’ as its lead story headline. However, I think it is ‘SATYAM TRUTH’. Mr. B Ramalinga Raju (Former Chairman Nasscom and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – 2007) has come clean and spoken the truth on the auspicious day of Vaikunda Ekadasi – when people do something good.

His admitting of a perpetual fraud being practiced for past several years, has resulted in investor wealth worth Rs: 2,13,349 crores has melted down in a single day.

2009 has begun with a bang and we in India should be proud that we are following in the foot steps of the most development Nation of the World – US. I am a firm believer, that what is happening is for the general good of the humanity.

I am quoting extensively from the post on Intent Blog by D.K. Matai and according to him, and I fully endorse his view that –

‘The characteristics of the Golden Age are likely to be accelerated enlightenment, renaissance and reinvention of the individual's thinking, societal group think and the redesign of linear industrial age systems and support mechanisms towards non-linear and circular ones by corporations, organisations and governments.’

Lao Tzu states in Tao Te Ching (in Verse 46):

"There is no greater vice than giving in to greed,
No greater calamity than not knowing contentment,
No greater imputation than succumbing to covetousness.
Therefore, know and be content with what is enough.
Then you will always have enough."

Lao Tzu states elsewhere (in Verse 44):

"The more excessive is your attachment,
The greater is your suffering.
The more excessive is your possession,
The heavier is your loss.
To know what is enough is to be free from disgrace.
To know when to stop is to be free from danger.
Those who practice this will long endure." (Quote ends)

So when the economic tsunami ends hopefully by the end of 2009 as predicted by renowned economists, this world will be an enlightened and a better place to live in. Gross materialism will give way to Spirituality and harmony, people will appreciate the small joys of life, family and community bonds will become stronger, people will not be self centered and egoistics, and will reach out to others, in short, this world of ours will be a better place.

Prof: Niall Ferguson (Professor of History at Harvard University, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School) has rightly termed the recent economic meltdown as ‘GREAT REPRESION’ and his reason is more interesting, that although this was the worst economic crisis in 70 years , many people remained in deep denial mode.

Here I would like to share my thoughts on ‘The Great Repression’ not of the economy, but on the real cause, and that is the continued denial of the inevitable fact that, one day death is going to overtake us. The Business Leaders were riding the tiger, and thought they will ride for ever.

Satyam was brought to it knees within a month, because B.Ramlinga Raju was living in a denial mode, and thought , that he will be able to overcome the economic challenges and cover up the fraud, he had been perpetuating for past several years. It is good that he has come clean finally.

His misdeed are paltry, when compared to the US Federal Reserve – ‘Great Repression’ and very frightening indeed. Just go through the following passages taken from DK Matai’s post, and make self assessment of the economic tsunami.

If we examine the US monetary base -- all paper dollars and coinage in existence -- it took two centuries for the monetary base to go from USD 0+ to USD 800 billion, but in just the past 3-months it has nearly doubled -- growing from around USD 800 billion to USD 1.5 trillion -- and by the time we look closely again in 2009 it will probably have surpassed USD 2 trillion. That is double the number of paper dollars in existence since last summer! Moreover, until September 2008, the month of the Lehman Brothers collapse, the Federal Reserve had held the expansion of the Monetary Base virtually flat. The 76% expansion has almost entirely taken place within the past three months, which implies an annualized expansion rate of more than 300%.

American banks have exchanged USD 2 trillion of presumed toxic waste securities consisting of Asset-Backed Securities in sub-prime mortgages, stocks and other high-risk credits in exchange for Federal Reserve cash and US Treasury bonds or other Government securities still rated AAA, ie, risk-free. The result is that the Federal Reserve is holding some USD 2 trillion in largely junk paper from the financial system. The banks benefiting from the Fed's actions naturally oppose any release of information because that might signal 'weakness' and spur short-selling, selling or a run by depositors - whether or not they are appropriate in doing so.

So friends, who have reposed faith in the generation of wealth by trading papers, brace up for the worst in the coming months. There surely will be nothing left for your attachment and surely this will reduce your suffering, you will become emancipated and free, and soar high like a free bird, thankful of the small blessings, that will open up with your increased ‘awareness’

I also believe that the Golden Age has surely dawned amidst all the economic mess.
So be positive and try to understand the blessing that will you will harvest in 2009
If you still think that wealth generation will happen without your effort and honest labour, you are in for a rude shock.