If the country duo Big & Rich sang liberal public policy instead of country songs, their hit single, “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” would likely be a twangy anti-Wall Street masterpiece. Something Michael Moore could proudly blast in his publisher’s jet. Something like “Save a Horse, Ride a Trader.”
Headlines of late ooze with stories of insider trading on Wall Street. At the center of this drama, is the high-profile trial of Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire entrepreneur and founder of a hedge fund management firm called the Galleon Group. With the assistance of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office), the SEC charged Rajaratnam with insider trading.
Remember, last year, when we heard 33 probes busted SEC staffers and senior-level officials for on-the-job porn fests? Yes, the SEC is the same agency that’s leading the charge on wiretapping and prosecuting former hedge-fund managers like Rajaratnam. Go figure.
The Rajaratnam investigation has all the dramatic bells and whistles that the mainstream media loves, including the related trial of hedge fund manager Danielle Chiesi, who pleaded guilty in hopes of softening her sentence.
Chiesi had at least two affairs to gather her intel, which she periodically shared with Rajaratnam: One with her married boss and another with a former IBM executive whose wife had multiple sclerosis. Known for her come-hither clothing and an aggressive personality, she peppered her sweet advances with the F-word as deftly as a South Park cartoon.
The Atlas Society argues that Chiesi’s immorality does not necessarily make her a criminal: “The only theoretical basis for charging Chiesi with a crime, so far as I can see, is the notion of perfect competition, according to which all market participants are supposed to be possessed of equal information. That notion is not just absurd, it is an attack upon reality. The attempt to make market participants adhere to such a standard, under penalty of prison, is currently one of the most oppressive assaults against the free market.”
Who’s riding the traders?