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Raj Rajaratnam: The feeble defense of an insecure billionaire

Raj RajaratnamWord among most opinionators is that Raj Rajaratnam's conviction Wednesday for insider trading is a victory. There's a watchdog on Wall Street after all, they say. And for anyone still chilled from watching "Inside Job," seeing Rajaratnam head to the slammer will provide some sense of justice.

Our editorial board wrote:

This case won't satisfy the nation's hunger to hold Wall Street accountable for the financial industry collapse that triggered a deep recession and cost millions of people their jobs. But it's important in its own right for the message it sends about the day-to-day business of investors.

The New York Times editorial said:

The jury in the illegal insider trading case against Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, did what the government has largely failed to do: hold a major Wall Street figure accountable for his reckless behavior. It is an important step toward restoring trust as a prerequisite of America's financial markets.

But not everyone is satisfied with the result. Writing for the Daily Beast, Gary Weiss had a meh reaction:

It was the biggest anticlimax in the history of Wall Street crime. […] Rajarathnam, who put up a feeble defense, was a kind of consolation prize for a public eager for the scalps of the perpetrators of the 2008 financial crisis. Instead they have to be satisfied with the Sri Lankan-born hedgie, whose crimes -- trading on inside information from firms like Goldman Sachs -- were peripheral to the agony in the markets.

And Susan Estrich of Creators Syndicate admits to feeling bad for Rajaratnam. Poor guy was just an insecure dope, she writes, referencing Rajaratnam's reputation for name-dropping and boasting:

He didn't need the money. He didn't need to brag. To have done less would have made him bigger. But only a secure man would understand that. No matter how much he made, he never got there. The insecurities that almost surely drove him to succeed also cost him that success. Some baggage will kill you if you don't find a way to leave it behind.


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Billionaire co-founder of Galleon Group Raj Rajaratnam exits Manhattan federal court May 11 in New York. Credit: Louis Lanzano / Associated Press 


Comments () | Archives (4)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mitchell Young

Hmmm, Rajaratnam was left out of Obama's paean to immigration down in El Paso, as were Winifred Jiau (seems to be a native of Taiwan) and Don Chu (an 'ex-Taiwanese' according to the Taipei Times).


You can make bet that there's a lot more insider trading going on than just this guy.

Wall Street's just a rigged casino, unfortunately it runs our economy. That's why we're in the mess we're in.

Nothing will change. Wall Street just bought every Republican leader in the House a few months ago.


What makes you think it's only Republicans who are bought off? Sounds pretty naive to me.

Leonel a Umana

This is no team 6 killing Bin Laden moment. Years after the disaster, Wall Street and Washington is still corrupt and active and the major player in both are still free and are players. I blame the GOP for siding with the money against Americans and Obama for failing to fully stand against the Wall Street Players. Obama's failure can be forgiven given the circumstance but the GOP betrayal can not. Obama put the interest of the country first and the GOP only put the interest of their party first and foremost. We are doom to repeat this debacle over and over again with greater and more destructrive force and collateral damage till the end unless we acknowledge we need to change. The GOP have shown they care not one wit and already singing the same old song.
We all need to kick the GOP asses till they cry a diffrent tune so we can finally fix this problem or we would all be wailing in misery of the destitution of our country.



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