It's been noted that the government's key edge in winning the Raj Rajaratnam case may be the use of wiretaps, with the prosecution saying in its opening statement yesterday that jurors would hear taped conversations (phone calls and otherwise) that will prove the Galleon founder guilty of insider trading. Earlier this afternoon, the first tapes, which captured a phone call between Rajaratnam, who was on his cell phone and Anil Kumar, the McKinsey consultant who chose to cooperate with the government, plus a call between Raj and a former Galleon employee (and cooperating witness) named Adam Smith. In addition to hearing Kumar say "they've shaken hands" and telling Mr. Rajaratnam "you can go ahead and buy" we also finally get an answer to the two burning questions on so many people's minds- 1) What does Raj Rajaratnam's laugh sound like?
a) a low guttural laugh
b) a chuckle
c) reminiscent of Cousin Balki
d) what you imagine the moans elicited from a dying cat would be like
e) a high-pitched giggle
f) punctuated by snorting
g) so hard he starts wheezing
h) like this
and 2) is he a fan of scatological humor? yes/no/maybe.
The answers we were looking for here was e, "a high-pitched giggle" and yes.
On a separate call from May 1, 2008, also played in court on Thursday, Mr. Rajaratnam is heard speaking with Adam Smith, a former Galleon trader and another cooperating witness.
Mr. Rajaratnam asks Mr. Smith how the market is treating him that day. Mr. Smith responds, "Like a baby using a diaper." Mr. Rajaratnam then lets out a high-pitched giggle. Mr. Rajaratnam and Mr. Smith are heard discussing Vishay Intertechnology Inc., one of the companies that prosecutors contend Mr. Smith passed inside information on to Mr. Rajaratnam.