Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, urged a U.S. judge on Friday to dismiss insider trading charges leveled against him last year. In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in New York, his lawyers argued the government had taken positions in the indictment that contradicted positions prosecutors took in trying his older brother for insider trading. “Principles of fairness dictate that Rengan, at a minimum, should be tried under the same standard as Raj,” the defense lawyers wrote in the motion. [Reuters]
If various sources are to be believed, Raj Rajaratnam is having the time of his life in prison, where he’s “reigning like a king,” “has a very delightful guy doing all sorts of stuff for him — sort of like a ‘manservant’,” enjoys a private en suite, balcony, and adjustable bed, and gets along smashingly with his fellow inmates, who can’t help but notice how downright svelte he’s become. All that’s a good thing, as we’ve just received word he won’t be leaving any time soon. Read more »
If Area Shareholder Had His Way, Steve Cohen Would Be Duking It Out With Raj Rajaratnam Over Who Gets Top BunkBy Bess Levin
Earlier this week, SAC Capital agreed to plead guilty to insider trading and pay a $1.8 billion fine. Some people– namely, the Department of Justice, Steve Cohen and those who work for him– are, if not wildly pleased with the terms, at least prepared to go along with them, assuming it is approved this afternoon . Others, namely shareholders of Wyeth and Elan, feel differently. They want U.S. District Judge Laura Swain Taylor to reject the agreement outright and as for what kind of punishment should be dealt out instead? “Eddy N” has some ideas. Read more »
If you took a random poll of family, friends, colleagues, and strangers on the street, asking them how they’d feel about going to prison, the majority if not all of them would probably say, “Not good.” For most people, prison is a place to steer clear of, for all the reasons you can think of (living in a cell, isolation from the outside world, bad food, low paying jobs, daily risk of sodomy) and probably some you can’t.
Not too long ago, hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam counted himself among those who for whom jail time was something to avoid (if not by being an upstanding, law-abiding citizen than by hiring a high-priced attorney to try and get him off after being charged with 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud). But now? After having served 21 months of his eleven-year sentence? Raj can honestly say that this prison is great.
And not because hard time forced him to take a serious look at his life or to think about what he’d done or change himself for the better or any of that metamorphosis type crap, but because minus the not being allowed to leave the grounds rules? Raj’s life in prison is arguably better than his life on the outside, which did not include servants or a 34 inch waist. Read more »
A question that you may or may not find interesting is: have the U.S. government’s rather strenuous recent efforts to stamp out insider trading actually reduced insider trading? How would you go about answering that, if you really wanted to know? I guess the right approach would be a survey; like, go email every hedge fund manager and ask “have you insider traded in the last 12 months? more or less than you used to?” and see what they say. That has … problems, so you look for proxies. Do stocks tend to go up, on heavy volume, before the announcement of secret good news? Then that at least suggests that someone traded on the secret good news before it was announced. It’s something.
A while back I idly committed some pseudoscience about pre-merger trading and found some indications that (1) stock prices and volumes tend to increase before mergers and (2) that increase has been more pronounced in say 2009-2013 than it was in say 2001-2008. This would seem to be weak evidence of increasing insider trading? This was a little puzzling given:
- those strenuous efforts, lots of people going to jail for long periods, etc.; and
- my assumption, anyway, that traders would be rational and competent judges of risk and reward who would weigh the increased odds of being caught and sent to prison in their decision to insider trade or not.1
But there my pseudoscience was. Anyway I learned today (via) about a recent study where some b-school professors committed some … I dunno, whatever b-school professors do, something between “pseudoscience” and “science” … of their own and got the opposite result, so I figured I’d pass it along. Here’s the abstract: Read more »
On the one hand, it’d be hard to argue that the former hedge fund manager doesn’t want to get out of the correctional facility he’s been in since December 2011; on the other, let’s not forget that prison is said to agree with him and that he not only is he in “good spirits,” but looks better than ever. Read more »
Insider Trading, Men Wearing Women’s Lingerie, Interviews While A Voice Over The PA System Asks Everyone To “Welcome The Lovely Porshah To Stage 3″: Just Another Day With Raj RajratnamBy Bess Levin
As those well-educated in the life and times of Raj Rajaratnam know, pre-prison, the big guy loved to 1. Make trades based on material non-public information and 2. Play pranks on his employees at Galleon, like introducing them to a dwarf and claiming he’d been brought on to analyst small-cap stocks, and bet them thousands of dollars they didn’t have the stomachs or balls to stand at the back of a room and allow a Taser International executive to use their bodies to demonstrate what kind of heat the company’s latest products were packing. How else did Raj-Raj keep the yuks coming (in addition to asking junior female analysts researching Lululemon to don a pair of black spandex pants and walk back and forth across the conference room table in them so people could really get a good look under the hood)? According to a new book called The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of The Indian-American Elite and The Fall of The Galleon Hedge Fund, vetting potential employees in between lap dances and making male staffers wear g-strings played a part. Read more »