Yet another billionaire on Wall Street hits the skids. This time it is Sri Lankan American hedge fund manager extraordinaire, Raj Rajaratnam. Breaking news today is that Raj has been arrested and charged with insider trading along with some other high profile executives at IBM and a few other notables. My big question is, what the heck is wrong with these bad boy charging bulls on Wall Street?
Have they ALL lost their minds?!
I think a lot of these guys should be called Kingpins the lot of them; kingpins running hedge fund cartels. I mean, who’s next? What’s next? I quiver to know. Wow, man. Wow!!!
Raj and his wife Asha and their three children reportedly reside in a fancy condominium on swanky Sutton Place and they own a robust stable of assets of every imaginable genre both in the US and abroad. So I can tell you this. If those two ever divorced, it would be big. And guess what? Divorce attorney/guru Raoul Felder (so what if New York Magazine failed to name him as one of the best divorce attorneys in New York?) lives in the same building as the Rajaratnams! Talk about auspicious happenstance for both Raoul and Asha Pabla (my hunch is that if a divorce ensues, Asha will definitely be the plaintiff).
So. If Asha is thinking about jumping ship and getting off the Rajaratnam reservation, this might be a good time to meet Raoul for a “complimentary” consultation I would think. Now that Raj has that noose around his throat.
Man oh man!
Although…Would Asha benefit from jumping ship now as opposed to standing by her man and waiting this out and seeing what happens? That’s the billion dollar question. Maybe all she’ll get is bad PR. Women for sure would vilify her for being a gold digger – in it for the money and as soon as the well looked like it would dry up, she bolted.
The naive little girl in me says, ALWAYS STAND BY YOUR MAN. Call me a hopeless romantic, I don’t care. I just don’t believe in kicking a man when he is down. Besides, her husband has not been given an opportunity to be heard. This is the United States of America. One is innocent until proven guilty. Raj was no Bernie Madoff who comes out confessing before he’s even asked a question. Raj pleads the fifth and demands his lawyer instead. That’s what I’m thinking and they let him out on what? $20 million bond? Yes. House arrest. All the white collar guys get house arrest. Very cushy.
I am sure Ira Sorkin can fit Raj into his calendar for a little chat over scotch. What’s the retainer on something like that? Win or lose, I’m thinking about half a million. Sorkin is worth his weight in gold. Sure, Sorkin got Bernie 150 years. But, see, Bernie messed the whole thing up by confessing and not giving Ira an opportunity to make the government prove its case. So you can’t judge Sorkin by that. Besides, he was just voted one of the best lawyers in New York in New York Super Lawyers (Ira, that is) and he had this to say:
There’s no such thing as a hopeless case. You can protect family, protect assets for family, try to see to it that he is sentenced to something less than the most severe prison. There’s also an emotional and psychological role we play.
Uh huh. Can you imagine charging a client what Sorkin must have charged Madoff just so you can get “less than the most severe prison” or just so that your lawyer can be your shrink? That’s wild!
Oh. But wait. This is about Asha and a possible divorce which we are totally speculating about. The cynic in me who has seen how ugly life can be and how ugly people can be and just how totally instantaneously everything in life can just change, (sometimes for the better?) well, she might say something else about this situation Asha finds herself in. Different, that is, from STAND BY YOUR MAN.
But what does it matter? I mean, what would Asha gain by seeking divorce now? If it’s money she is seeking, then RICO could be a problem. We discussed this issue in some of our Ruth Madoff posts. Search RICO in the search field on the left if you want to see what we said there.
Although, unlike Madoff, I don’t think the Feds are saying the entire fund is a ponzi scheme or is fraudulently run. It is specific deals he did that were insider trading. I say that to say that Asha still would be entitled to some form of equitable distribution if she did in fact seek a divorce. And if grounds is the issue, she can always say he constructively abandoned her. I mean, at this point how would he prove that to be false? It’s not like he has time to worry about issues like sex when his entire neck is about to be Saddam Husseined.
If I were Asha I would…..I would….I would….yikes. I don’t know what I would do!!!
Look. He’s out on bail. I guess if I were her I would be doing some talking right about now with my husband and I’d have my yellow pad taking notes and I would sleep on it a bit and then decide….stand by my man? Or run for my life with as much of the loot as I can get my grubby little paws on?
But note to Asha. If you are thinking about which is the best month for divorce? I think January. But in a case like yours where you have an emergency situation? Then any month is a good month if it will maximize your profits and mitigate your losses. Something to think about.
Oh, and I think you are going to need a couple of lawyers at least. You need a divorce lawyer (if you are thinking about divorce) and you need a guy like Sorkin who can “protect assets” and offer some shrink services while he’s at it.
Good luck, girl! More about Asha here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/?s=pabla
More from Reuters here: http://www.reuters.com/article/ousivMolt/idUSTRE59F35L20091016