As you've likely heard, today marks the first day of the historic Raj Rajaratnam trial, the government's biggest insider trading case to date. Jury selection kicked off this morning, and while we wait for a few hundred people to answer questions designed to reveal whether or not they have prejudices toward everyone from hedge fund managers, to Wall Street in general, to Sri Lankans to the big-boned, we thought it best to come with a list of character witnesses we'd like to see take the stand. Rajaratnam has already said he'll speak on his own behalf and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is slated to make an appearance as well. But there are some lesser-known names who could probably tell an even richer tale about Raj and we're just going to put their names out there and hope the universe does the right thing. Some of them would work in his favor and some not but all would add a certain je ne said quoi to the proceedings. They include:
* The Galleon Group analyst who was called an 'idiot' by Raj for questioning the hedge fund manager's inside information about Goldman Sachs, given to him by a board member
* Former vanquished competitors of Raj's fantasy football league, such as Jim Pallota and Paul Tudor Jones, who in hindsight think he probably cheated at that
* Keryn Limmer, the Galleon analyst who Raj paid $5,000 to be tased when execs from stun-gun maker Taser International came to make a pitch in 2005 ("Employees gathered around as two people propped up trader Keryn Limmer at the elbows and another person fired the weapon. Ms. Limmer’s legs buckled beneath her from the shock")
* The dwarf who was hired by Raj as an April Fool's Day joke, and introduced to employees as a new analyst brought on to cover "small-cap" stocks
* The Galleon junior female analyst Raj told to buy a spandex outfit from Lululemon, wear it to the firm's morning meeting and "walk back and forth on top of the conference table" while Raj commented that "few consumers would pay so much money for the expensive outfit in a recession" (this one in particular could help the guy out, as it demonstrates the firm did real, in-depth research of its own)
Anyone else come to mind?