June 22, 2012

The American Dream: Rajat Gupta symbolises this more than being an antithesis

Rajat Gupta has hogged headlines over the past twenty odd years – he has championed that art. While his educational background without doubt has been exemplary, his consulting advisory was not necessarily so. McKinsey & Co.’s way of focus on core competency – and divesting from diversification strategies – necessarily has been one of the most debatable strategies that he represented during his tenure at the firm. Actually, it is one of those strategies that have given consultants the reputation of being people who take your watch and tell you the time; there is no strategy in this strategy. McKinsey’s consultants, of course, have championed such strategies and theories which are arguably of no great significance or research. I’m reminded of the book In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman – two McKinsey consultants – written on the basis of research that Tom Peters himself later admitted was concocted. Rajat’s stint post McKinsey has been clearly far more controversial due to the more obvious frauds. And now that he has been found guilty of insider trading, the Indian media in particular is hell-bent on portraying it as an example of a perfect ‘American Dream’ gone sour. The question is, is that so?

The key reasons behind the Rajat Gupta saga are endless greed and an endless chase for more – causes championed by the father of capitalism Adam Smith and post-Smith wannabe champions of capitalism’s cause like Ayn Rand and the likes; of courses, causes made famous much later by the character of Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street with his powerful line “Greed is good”. As long back as one looks, the causes of all American, as well as capitalism-related ills have been this endless greed and craving for more. In the 1630s, there was the first recorded case of greed related capitalist madness in the form of Tulipomania, when the Dutch thought that the whole world would be so impressed by their tulips that there would be an endless demand for tulips. At one point of time, a tulip bulb of no apparent worth could be exchanged for a “new carriage, two grey horses and a complete harness”, that is, $100,000 in terms of the contemporary value of money. Then was the 1849 ‘California Gold Rush’ which did develop California but killed more than a hundred thousand native Indians inhumanly. Obviously, people ended up losing money in the mad rush. Then there was the great Florida real estate boom in the 1920s when thousands were left homeless due to the mad rush for buying real estate in places which were simply not habitable and the subsequent asset crash. This was followed by the Great Depression of 1929. And yes, our generation saw the dot com bust and the massive recession of 2008. Capitalism has been full of such desperate situations because the ‘great dream’ of becoming rich overnight is always hanging like a carrot in front of us. But the reality is that only some people might make it while the majority will suffer and the bust is always round the corner.
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17 comments:

Rohit Tiwari said...

Nicely Said. An informative Post. Thank you.

Regards,
Rohit Tiwari,
Blooger @ www.rohitsdiaries.blogspot.com

Deepak Verma said...

Truly said Mr Chaudhuri.....everyone dreams of making big money overnight but there are very few who actually make it.

geet said...

Greed for more and more money can lead people to do anything for it.

Atanu said...

Rajat Gupta should have been satisfied with all that he had......how could he not be satisfied with so much in his pocket.

Avinash Rawat said...

Money is an incredible thing.........it makes people do the most impossible of the thing and still people are never satisfied .

Pyush said...

I agree with you....greed and the lust for money can make people insane.

aaryan said...

The market has always been a den of thieves ever since it's inception hundreds of years ago.

santosh kumar said...

American justice is all about Quick charge and punishment irrespective of how many crores they have. Here in India we have a Kasab who will probably die of old age in our jail and after our government would have spent multi crores on his upkeep.

Ganesh said...

I am so happy to see justice being done at least in USA and that too in such short span of time.

Dipti Nayak said...

Indians finally show their hallmark of "Corruption"...no matter wherever they are!!!!

ankit said...

Rajat Gupta should have committed this crime in India....at least he wouldn't have been prosecuted here.

suman kumari said...

Rajat would not have been prosecuted in India...He could have got a bail or get himself admitted in a hospital. The issue would have been dragged on for 20 years and by the time the Court would have granted him freedom on the basis of his health!

Nisha said...

Americans,no doubt lead, in corporate and white collar crimes but atleast they prosecute the guilty as soon as possible.

Sudhir Kumar said...

Jews dominate the wall street but Indians are made the scapegoat to show them who is the boss and how Indians will remain a second class citizens on the wall street!

Rajesh Sharma said...

Only if criminals would have learned from other people being convicted,the world would have been a much better place.

SM said...

why to talk about USA
why Mahabharat happened
greed is in every human
one just needs to control it

anjelica kharkongor said...

hello peddler of fake degrees. i've heard so much about you that i just had to google you.... and lo' and behold all your lies and misdeeds are there for the world to see at just the click of a mouse. after reading about the fraud that is arindam chaudhuri i realised you are nothing but a common thief preying on poor unsuspecting people. you should consider yourself lucky you are carrying out your activities in a country like India, because if left to the people you would have been publicly castrated, flogged and dragged through the streets like the dirt that you are.

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