Financial journalist Raghavan debuts with this account of the international web of insider trading at Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon hedge fund.
The author traces the precedent-setting prosecution and May 2011 conviction of Rajaratnam, whose 11-year jail term is the longest awarded in an insider trading case to date, from its unlikely beginnings in an investigation of his younger brother's hedge fund. For the first time, wiretaps were used to secure convictions in such a case, and Raghavan excels with her account of how the targets for taps were sifted out of more than 4 million pages of documentation over the three-year investigation. The process she reports at both the SEC and the U.S. Attorney's office becomes compelling as the pieces of the case are identified and potential witnesses recruited. Raghavan compiled more than 200 interviews and traveled extensively in her quest to assemble the narrative. She provides an insightful account of South Asian immigration to the U.S. since the 1960s and shows how relations established in India's elite education system provided some of the ties that bound the conspirators together. Rajaratnam and his accomplices—mainly Rajat Gupta, a former head of the McKinsey consulting company and board member at Goldman Sachs—were also highflying associates of top political and corporate circles in both India and the U.S. Gupta, in particular, frequented quarters where significant decisions were made about outsourcing U.S. economic activity. Rajaratnam's accomplices at Intel and Advanced Micro Devices provided the information necessary to build his reputation as an expert in technology and produce spectacular financial gains.
Compelling in its specificity and intriguing in its portrayal of leading financial institutions and their malfeasance.