Corruption looms large not just in the developing economies, but is also quite prevalent in the developed markets. The underlying asset, greed, is heavy on the balance sheets of some of the world’s greatest corporations (or so they were touted till about a few months back) and their top management. One can quite easily assume that most of the world’s biggest companies would have, in some way or the other, spent the shareholders’ hard-earned money for their own personal interests.
The most recent incident is that of Citigroup. A corporation that lost $28.5 billion in the past 15 months and received a bailout package of $45 billion foolishly went on to purchase a new $50 million corporate jet, the exclusive 12-seater Dassault Falcon 7x.
ABC News reported that President Barack Obama, through a member of his team, quietly but firmly advised Citigroup executives that it might not be such a good idea to purchase a $50 million corporate jet from a company in France, not after Citigroup received $45 billion from the corporate bailout. The phrase used by the Obama representative reportedly was for Citigroup to ‘fix it’, which Citigroup apparently has done by canceling the corporate jet.
The world watched as the car chieftains (the likes of Ford and GM) got in trouble for flying their private jets to Washington to ask for bailouts, and the world’s biggest insurer A.I.G. got dragged before Congress for spending their bailout on California spa treatments.
Given the attitude of such a top management, the corporations are bound to suffer. Management that took Gordon Gekko’s word so literally when he said “Greed is good” in the famous thinking person’s movie – Wall Street, instead of learning a lesson from it.
Back home, Satyam’s 43,622 employees have finally found respite, from the corruption, in a new set of directors who have managed to pull out January’s salaries for all of them.
Raju’s illegitimate 10,000 others bite the dust.
One parting thought: a $35,000 commode is a lot like a new car — once you buy it, sit on it and take it for a spin, it does lose most of its resale value.