Saturday, October 17, 2009
In keeping with the recent superficiality of this blog....
Mr. Raj Rajaratnam, 52, the founder of the Galleon hedge fund, was arrested yesterday along with five others and charged with insider trading. Rajaratnam is said to be worth $1.3 billion. The insider trading he was involved with netted $20.4 million. It is not clear how much of that amount would have gone to him.
Why would a billionaire risk it all for what, for him, represents a trifling amount? (This, of course, begs the question of how much of his net worth was gained from insider trading in the first place, before the feds started tapping his phone.)
There is an old expression that runs something along the lines of, until the age of 50, you merely wear the face you are given. But after 50, you are responsible for your own face, i.e., your character starts to show on your face.
Rajaratnam looks a decade younger than his 52 years; fat has a way of smoothing out the wrinkles. But his weight does somehow give him the look of a greedy man with little self control. His weight is all the more striking given that you almost never see fat "Indians," even in this country. (Rajaratnam is actually Sri Lankan.)
A few years ago there seemed to be a nascent "fat liberation" movement in the works. A few fat people complained about how they were being discriminated against, how it was harder for them to get hired, how people assumed they were lazy, how people mocked them, and how their obesity wasn't their fault. (The latest medical evidence does seem to indicate that we are simply born with a certain number of fat cells, and there's nothing we can do about it. Which is why fat people who go on diets always seem to end up returning to their natural weight.) And the media, ever eager to find new "victims," gave them some air time.
The publicity surrounding Rajaratnam's piggishness certainly isn't going to help the cause.