So Raj Rajratnam major Hedge fund owner of Galleon in US was convicted yesterday for insider trading and sentenced 19.5 yrs in jail, adding fuel to the already existing fire of “the common man in the US has lost trust in wall street”. The major grounds for proving him guilty was his phone calls were tapped – paving further need for legislation and tapping trader phone calls on wall street. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein also testified in the case and there may be further litigation coming Goldman’s and other banks way. It seems that insider trading has almost become the norm in Wall street to make money – a lot of these guys are MBAs from Ivy league (who pleaded guilty to providing insider information) and CFAs – and its contradictory that Ethics is weighed so heavily in the CFA and the MBA but once these guys get on the street they forget all oaths and all pledges on morality and ethics and its just about making money “beggar-thy-neighbour”, except in this case the neighbour was the highly influential although scattered common investor Heard someone discuss in a PTA meeting in the US when the teacher asked the father of a child what do you do and he said I am an Ibanker and the teacher retorts I am sorry but I will never put my money in wall street. Upshot – even market experts are saying US blue chip valuations are at all time lows , but the common man is out of the market due to distrust. Recently Warren Buffet’s right hand man David Sokol (the one expected to take his position) was caught on insider trading and is out of Berkshire and is being sued. Sukol was the born to humble polish immigrants and brought up with strong values of hard work, meritocracy and ethics – so someone with a strong upbringing can be tainted so easily with the charms of easy money and wall street popular culture of deceit and fraud then it seems that sticking to the right way of making money is very difficult if not impossible.
Sounds like you’re a former Galleon guy? Anyway interested insight into the case. Like others have mentioned on previous posts, I think 20 years is a little harsh. It’s a shame because this guys probably made 99.9% of his trades/money legitimately, he just got greedy on a few and was caught. And for those who think he didn’t do anything wrong – he knew the rules, once he got that info he and his firm was restricted in the name and should’ve backed off. I think he’ll lose appeal and get 8 years in a banker prison which is probably nicer than my first NYC apt.