Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Holman Jenkins, Jr. On The Missing Rajaratnam Fallout

The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins, Jr. wrote a recent column concerning the Rajaratnam trial and verdict.

Leaving aside the allegations of Jenkins and others that Rajaratnam's crimes were more or less victimless, he rightly expressed outrage that, so far, the real crimes unveiled have gone unpunished.

Specifically, a McKinsey consultant leaking client information, Intel being betrayed by one of its executives and Goldman board meetings being compromised.

Whether or not these are prosecuted, they seem to have paled besides what remains problematic insider trading rules. And how those rules seem to run counter to the principle of wanting as much information represented in stock prices as possible.

It's pretty clear that Rajaratnam knew he was almost certainly violating SEC rules and existing law. It remains unclear whether those laws do much more than occasionally make people feel better by seeing someone prosecuted for violating laws that have dubious value in the first place.

But knowing that these other business people fed Rajaratnam information which was clearly wrongly disclosed is distressing.

As Jenkins noted, those, at least, are the real crimes we can all agree should be wrongful behavior and prosecuted.

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