Finally it is official. Satyam's Rs 7000 crore corporate accounting fraud has been acknowledged to be the biggest fraud in the history of India's big bourgeoisie. While Enron, an American corporate certainly outdid the who's who in corporate crime in India in recent years, there have been many contenders for the title in the last two decades. Global Trust Bank is still fresh in our memory. In this latest instance, Price Waterhouse Coopers is implicated along with Satyam.
The business press is already out to present the Satyam affair as a one-off episode though some inevitable noises about 'weak corporate governance' have been unavoidable.
The 'Shining India' story of big bucks and star-status CEOs has been interspersed liberally with episodes of scam and fraud. While each such crime has its own little mark of innovative entrepreneurship, that hallowed slogan of capitalists under neoliberalism, the very regularity and increasing scale of such crimes point to a more systemic causal connection between India's 'reforms' and the perpetration of fraud. Each such fraud in the contemporary structure of capitalism entails the loss of public wealth and insecurity of thousands of employees, be it in India or in the heart of imperialist capital.
Pragoti brings to its readers three articles by three very noted economists which separately and together establish the role of fraud and dirty money in the history of capitalism in general, and specifically in the context of neoliberalism in India.
While the reaction of the Manmohan Singh clique has been cautious and muted and the BJP has adopted a holier-than-thou posturing but carefully avoided pointing any fingers at the corporate sector, the CPI(M) has demanded that the perpetrators of this fraud be brought to book and called for the safeguarding of the interests of the employees. The CPI(M) statement is appended here.