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Showing posts from February, 2011

Heights of corruption

Black money is ubiquitous in the Indian economy - and the real estate sector is probably the hot bed of black money deals. But I had never imagined that people will be so brazen to quote a black money deal openly on a website - check out the screenshot below: For the uninitiated, 'cash' refers to money paid in cash but not accounted for as a part of the deal in a written contract - in effect this is black money. However, I should applaud the seller here for his/her open mindedness - s/he is giving a clear option for you NOT to pay him any cash, in which case the property will cost you 61 lakhs (INR 6 million 1 hundred thousands). S/he is also giving a clear conversion factor - each lakh (hundred thousand)  of black money gives you a reduction of 25k in the package. The quote price 57 lakhs should as per the above be 41 lakhs agreement value and 16 lakhs in cash.

Enron - Smartest Guys in Town

One of the best documentaries I have ever seen which analyses the Enron debacle from the the inception of Enron to its rise, eminent fall and ultimate crash. It outlines the role played by different characters such as Jeff Skilling, Andy Fastow and Ken Lay but more importantly it brings to light how common employees were led into doing the most unethical actions while making them believe that their actions were completely legitimate. The documentary highlights how the actions of traders in Enron illustrates the inferences of Milgram Experiments , the only other live case study of them being the war crimes conducted by Nazi / German army officers during the WWII on Hitler's orders. The documentary raised a lot of questions in my mind ... Many times our actions look quite legitimate at the time when several contextual pieces of information are in our mind. For example, under a deregulated power rate policy in California, the actions of traders would have looked legitimate. As