Saturday, January 10, 2009

Earlier this evening, watching a traffic cop negotiate a "fair" bribe with a offending biker at the expense of total chaos around the intersection he was supposed to control, a thought came to mind - how about making traffic policing an independant professional activity something along the lines of Chartered Accountants? Modest targets may be set for cops manning intersections based on expected average daily collections worked out by the traffic department or other independant agencies. The expected revenue per cop based on a simple formula applied to these targets may be auto-debited from the cops' bank accounts. Any fines cops gather over the target would serve as his incentive. Cops who fail to acheive the target despite retraining and mutiple chances could be weeded out. This would address 2 important problems that traffic police face today -
  1. Curb revenue loss through the distribution chain caused by corrupt cops to a large extent.
  2. Provide incentive to cops who otherwise earn meagre salaries, to make money commensurate with the effort they are prepared to put-in.
As the (A)Satyam saga enfolds, why raju spilled the beans is now somewhat clear - he didn't have much choice. Merrill, the IBs entrusted with the task of finding a suitor for satyam, was about to spill the beans to sebi anyway...

A bunch of theories have emerged on what exactly has raju been up to:
  1. If we are to accept his own admission - the failed maytas deal was his last-ditch attempt to tally his b/s inflated over the last several years and by now showing reserves that didn't really exist. The idea being to create a charge against reserves while infinitely delaying payment to maytas (his own son's outfit) so cash outflow wouldn;t really happen at all and there would be somehting to show as to where the cash went.
  2. As the wise Mr. Naresh Chandra wisely pointed out on cnbc, this fax by raju could be plain lies perpetrated by raju to throw investigators off-track. It is quite unlikely that nobody, especially satyam's bankers would never once have noticed in all these years if satyam's statements had been showing deposits (in thousands of crores) with them that didnt exist! May be raju siphoned-off cash from satyam to pay for losses resulting from the recent fall in land prices resulting from real-estate correction across much of the country. (Remember between him and his family-run businesses, they own over 6000 acres of land mostly in AP)
  3. May be raju, over the last couple of weeks ran out of cash so badly that he decided to siphon-off cash from satyam to meet margin calls on his holdings (post the sharp fall in satyam stock prices post the failed maytas deal) pledged with institutions.
What he was thinkng would likely unfold as he "starts talking" in coming days!