The Scam || Book Review || Written by Debashis Basu & Sucheta Dalal

The Scam Book was written by Debashis Basu & Sucheta Dalal. To read this book you really need to have a good knowledge of banking as well as marketing, stock marketing and money marketing etc.

THE SCAM is more of an investigative report on the two defining stock market scams of recent times – 1991-1992, popularly known as Harshad Mehta Scam, and the Ketan Parekh escapade of 2001.  This is not a book for beginners, to be very honest and precise; a basic assumption is there of a working knowledge of stocks, stock markets, money markets and bank operations in addition to finance management basics.

The book covers each and every parts or aspects of the scam in considerable detail, right from the document stream, to the fraud transactions, as well as activity in stock prices, coupon rates and interest rates, market deals, cartels and the interaction of the various players in the scam – the Brokers, Banks, Institutional Investors, Regulators, Politicians, Mutual Fund Houses – which contribute to give depth and credibility to the investigation, as it leaves no specification uncovered and no stone unturned in its attempt at arriving at the unseen facts. 

In certain, the attention to detail in about every aspect of the investigation is worth a special mention. The attention given to even the most minute of conditions, events and allegations throughout the book lends it considerable weight.

 By no extends of imagination is this book a fast read; it requires concentration and a deep level of interest and patience in the topic at hand to finish it. But for those interested in it, this book is a fact-filled, deeply absorbing and educational experience; far more than it just a book. 

The centerpiece of this investigation is the combination of numbers and planning or stratigies that has been used to sober put the point across. Stock price movements, coupon rates, transactions, positions have been covered in considerable detail,  leaves no doubt in your mind as to what happened. 

The book is merciless on the Regulators- specifically our very own RBI, and asked some really tough questions from the central bank, including exposing dazzling oversights and weaknesses in the operations of the RBI in the period 1986 – 2005. Some examples of internal reports highlighting issues,  as well as dazzling lethargy and dying systems. It is compell one to think if this is still the case?  

The book also exposes the CBI in no unsure terms, as it comes across as incompetent as well as, shall we say, externally handled – and ruthlessly rips into its investigative efforts, taking pains to point out that at the end of it all, most of the offender (almost all, in fact) got clean away. Not only that, the capital that was lost remains lost and incapable of being traced, which makes a fun of the whole investigation. The book doesn’t include this so,but I feel that if niether the money or capital is recovered, nor the people caught, then the only conclusion is the grand failure of the whole regulatory mechanism. 

This book also giving the final evidence of the requirement of an independent and decently functioning CBI, which no political party has as yet even spoken of doing, Except (AAP ) . The book will also gives clue – if you go between the lines of book – as to why no one wants to bell the cat. It points out how old our regulatory and investigative mechanisms are, and this really need for upgradation. The obvious conspiracy between different/various players in the market – with not one single market player spared – will make you wonder at the games that were, and for all we know {IMO} are being played. RBI, SEBI, JPC, Mutual Funds, Broking Houses – a bad image is made, of how these operated- leading to losses for the taxpayer, and the common man and investor; with the rich man getting clean away. Something we are pretty used to – but don’t you think that- enough is enough? Read the book the get a feel of how connivance at high levels leads to a national disaster.

A special part is kept for Foreign Banks, who tom-tom their internal systems and superiority in operational systems and working. They,  along with SBI and other Indian Banks, to be honest, have been ripped apart in no unsure terms. 

This is a book  that is a must read for all corporate professionals and Business Management/Law/CA/Commerce Students, from whichever stream; this is an education on how short-termism and the chase for profits has the possibility to overthrough all checks and balances. This is a book of how the rich man spoils the lives of the middle class and junior class people. This is a catastrophic story of the triumph of evil and greed over the forces of the market and the law – in some ways, a deeply moving motion picture of the successive failure of the legal process, checks and balances and of the ultimate victory of crime…

Does crime pay? it look so, looking at the current reality in India. And if this is the reality, high time we made changes to ensure that in future, some reviewer or commentor can write… Crime does not pay. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *