Home > Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Media, Pax Americana, Social Trends > In Yumm-Rika There is no Corruption or How IAC Completely Gets The Story Wrong!

In Yumm-Rika There is no Corruption or How IAC Completely Gets The Story Wrong!


For reasons that are unclear to me, Indian activistas think that India alone faces a corruption issue. Ignorance or willful negligence?

Globally Govt. has become a set of slogans.  |  Matt Wuerker cartoon in politico.com on December 01, 2011  |  Click for image.

Globally Govt. has become a set of slogans. | Matt Wuerker cartoon in politico.com on December 01, 2011 | Click for image.

https://twitter.com/fgautier26/status/216437980523536384

Impotent pin-pricks

This tweet refers to report by India Against Corruption (IAC) on the link between Omita Paul and Pranab Mukherjee. Based on significant surmise, innuendo, conclusions, suspicions, this report is quite short on fact.

To start with, the commendation of Rajat Gupta’s conviction, makes me doubt the integrity of this report. Domestic and global media who have tracked Rajat Gupta’s prosecution agree that the trial was based on circumstantial inconvenience of Rajat Gupta – rather than any evidence.

Subsequent events have shown far bigger scandals – for which the US DoJ or other Western authorities have done little. There is nothing that makes me doubt that the DoJ went after weak targets like Rajat Gupta. The DoJ team, led by Preet Bharara, went after Rajat Gupta, while in the same Goldman Sachs there were more viable and pressing targets – like David Loeb.

Hundreds of trillions of loans are done on the basis of the LIBOR – a compromised benchmark, for which no one is going to jail?

Of course waste by US Govt. does not mean that Indian Govt can also ahead and waste.  But these silly examples of 'It does happen in the US.' has to stop.  |  Matt Wuerker cartoon from .politico.com on January 26, 2011  |  Click for image.

Of course waste by US Govt. does not mean that Indian Govt can also ahead and waste. But these silly examples of ‘It does happen in the US.’ has to stop. | Matt Wuerker cartoon from .politico.com on January 26, 2011 | Click for image.

False Flags

More than this remark on Rajat Gupta, the basis of IAC campaign is false.

It rests on two very weak pillars.

One – Corruption exists in India alone. Indians alone are corrupt. Indians alone tolerate corruption. None of this true.

Two – You can have an ever-expanding State that will rule with brutal honesty – and the State will  have more powers, more money, and become wiser and more benign.

Compared to the US$3 trillion that the US Department of Defence is unable to account for, this talk of notional loss of US$30 billion in the 2G scam makes for poor form.

Most recently, during the Iraq and Afghan Wars, the US Department of Defense has not able to properly account for (to the satisfaction of US Govt. auditors) a sum of (still being estimated) of US$2.3 trillion, says Donald Rumsfeld – to US$10 trillion, an estimate by Stephen Glain author of State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire.

In fiscal 1999, a defense audit found that about $2.3 trillion of balances, transactions and adjustments were inadequately documented. These “unsupported” transactions do not mean the department ultimately cannot account for them, she advised, but that tracking down needed documents would take a long time. Auditors, she said, might have to go to different computer systems, to different locations or access different databases to get information. (via Reforming Financial Management System Can Save Big  |  By Jim Garamone  |  American Forces Press Service).

For the accounting entries, $2.3 trillion was not supported by adequate audit trails or sufficient evidence to determine their validity, $2 trillion was not reviewed because of time constraints, and $2.6 trillion were supported. via DoD Audit Report No. D-2000-091 February 25, 2000 (Project No. 0FI-2115.01).

taking a look at the Department of Education, which, for the last three years hasn’t been able to get a clean audit. Then I understand that the Department of Defense shares many of the same problems that we have with the Department of Education. I think the IG just notes that in one of the audits that you went through of the 1999 financial statements included adjustments of $7.6 trillion — that’s trillion — in account adjustments, of which 2.3 trillion were supported by un — by reliable documents — were unsupported by reliable documentation. (REP. PETER HOEKSTRA (R-MI) – Testimony before the House Budget Committee on the FY 2002 Defense Budget As Delivered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Comptroller Dov Zakheim, Cannon House Office Building, Wednesday, July 11, 2001.?

Pentagon contracting has been broken for decades. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said — on September 10, 2001 — that “according to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” The next day was 9/11, and counting Pentagon dollars was no longer a top priority. (via The Pentagon’s Marauding Fraudsters|Time).

“We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on,” said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service. (via The War On Waste).

DoD financial experts, Zakheim said, are making good progress reconciling the department’s “lost” expenditures, trimming them from a prior estimated total of $2.3 trillion to $700 billion. And, he added, the amount continues to drop. (via Zakheim Seeks To Corral, Reconcile ‘Lost’ Spending).

Problems, solutions, systems and procedures of governance have become standardized across the world.  |  Gary Varvel cartoon of May 18 2012  |  Click for image.

Problems, solutions, systems and procedures of governance have become standardized across the world. | Gary Varvel cartoon of May 18 2012 | Click for image.

In the case of the US$3 trillion (equal to notional loss of 100 2G scams), no arrests, no charge sheets, no court case. Heck, even a police report has not been filed. Thirteen years after the audit report was filed.

And IAC would like to hold the Rajat Gupta conviction as a candle to the 2G prosecution? The U.S. DoD scam was more money than the entire GDP of any other country in the world in 1999.

The Defense Department cannot account for $1.1 trillion that seems to have vanished within the tangled system of financial accounting put in place by private contractors.

Every year trillions of dollars are unaccounted for by federal agencies, and every year these same agencies are called before congressional oversight committees to explain this mismanagement of taxpayers’ funds.

Year after year the bureaucratic mea culpas are longer on process and shorter on substance, leaving overseers with little or no information that is useful to correct the gross mismanagement. Take, for instance, the financial mess at the Department of Defense (DOD).

In May, DOD Deputy Inspector General Robert Lieberman reported to Congress that “the extensive DOD efforts to compile and audit the FY [fiscal year] 2000 financial statements for the department as a whole and for the 10 subsidiary reporting entities like the Army, Navy and Air Force General Funds, could not overcome the impediments caused by poor systems and unreliable documentation of transactions and assets.”

Without ever using the word “money,” a practice common among inspectors general (IGs), the deputy IG at the Pentagon read an eight-page summary of DOD fiduciary failures. He admitted that $4.4 trillion in adjustments to the Pentagon’s books had to be cooked to compile the required financial statements and that $1.1 trillion of that amount could not be supported by reliable information. In other words, at the end of the last full year on Bill Clinton’s watch, more than $1 trillion was simply gone and no one can be sure of when, where or to whom the money went.

via DOD Can’t Find $1.1 TRILLION – Rumsfeld Inherits Financial Disaster.

And this was just one department of the US government. What about other departments?

Weak foundations

The fact is in an expanding State (an idea that IAC supports), executive discretion, latitude are essential – and misuse, abuse, doubtful use can always be alleged. The option is to either reduce the role of the State (which most of these activistas don’t want) or keep a balance between healthy accountability and executive freedom based on trust – and not on paranoia and distrust.

Exactly the opposite of Bharattantra – and all of recorded history.

End of the road. End of the cycle. It is Bharattantra from now on  |  Matt Wuerkar cartoon in politico.com on February 15, 2012  |  Click for image.

End of the road. End of the cycle. It is Bharattantra from now on | Matt Wuerkar cartoon in politico.com on February 15, 2012 | Click for image.

The entire IAC-Anna campaign is based on distrust, paranoia and suspicion. If accountability is what is needed, prosecution like the 2G is the path to be followed. Based on evidentiary basis that will withstand Third Party scrutiny.

Not only was Dimon conflicted in his role on the New York Fed but the President and CEO of the New York Fed had an equally dubious conflict of interest.

William C. Dudley has been employed by the New York Fed since January 1, 2007, first heading up the powerful Markets Group. That Group manages the supply of bank reserves in the banking system according to the mandate of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). On January 27, 2009, Dudley was elevated to President and CEO of the New York Fed. Financial disclosure forms for 2008 through 2010 show that Dudley’s wife, Ann Darby, was a former Vice President of JPMorgan and had holdings of more than $1,500,000 in deferred income accounts at the firm as well as between $250,000 to $500,000 in a 401(K) plan there.

In a letter dated January 22, 2009, authored by the New York Fed’s General Counsel, Thomas C. Baxter, Jr. and Deputy General Counsel, Michael Held, two financial waivers were sought for Dudley. One involved $1.45 million in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and the other involved a small monthly pension of $124.38 that Dudley would receive from his previous employer, Goldman Sachs, at age 65. (Dudley’s financial disclosure forms show over $1 million in his Federal Reserve Retirement Thrift Plan, which seems an extraordinary sum for his 5-year tenure. It could be that he was permitted to roll over most of his Goldman pension into the Federal Reserve plan, explaining why his monthly Goldman benefit at age 65 is so small.)

via Revealed: JPMorgan Paid $190,000 Annually to Spouse of Bank’s Top Regulator | Economy | AlterNet.

Similarly, without thinking Indian activistas seem to suggest that Indian Government is the most oppressive – and the US government is the most free and l9iberal.

Facts as delineated earlier in 2ndlook posts are otherwise.

On January 23rd, the Obama administration charged former CIA officer John Kiriakou under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists about the waterboarding of al-Qaida suspects. His is just the latest prosecution in an unprecedented assault on government whistleblowers and leakers of every sort.

Kiriakou’s plight will clearly be but one more battle in a broader war to ensure that government actions and sunshine policies don’t go together. By now, there can be little doubt that government retaliation against whistleblowers is not an isolated event, nor even an agency-by-agency practice. The number of cases in play suggests an organized strategy to deprive Americans of knowledge of the more disreputable things that their government does. How it plays out in court and elsewhere will significantly affect our democracy.

Punish the Whistleblowers

The Obama administration has already charged more people — six — under the Espionage Act for alleged mishandling of classified information than all past presidencies combined. Prior to Obama, there were only three such cases in American history. (via Obama’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers – Salon.com).


David Loeb

  1. July 14, 2012 at 11:20 pm

  2. Sridhar
    July 15, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Comparing corruption of India with US and then calling India less or no-corrupt is to take easy way out. Truth is corruption in India has reached proportions unheard of before and the blatant manner of doing it across various levels in several public service / sector is another thing. On the other hand, home minister is greedy that middle class can even have Ice Creams but crib for increase in price of rice….

    The last few decades have made housing in cities beyond the reach of middle class. This is totally due to the corrupt / rich businessmen (buying contracts through corruption) on one side and NRI investment on the other driving up the price while the INR salary earners remain static (in terms of wealth) and could not even fight with the inflation month after month.

    At this rate, eventually a day will come when the weaker, salary class will be outlawed, enslaved…

  3. KUMAR IYER
    July 16, 2012 at 3:53 am

    On the one hand you advocate Bharata tantra and then you compare Bharat with an asuric State. While I am sympathetic for the raw deal meted out to Rajat (Courtesy Preet with political ambitions),yet your comparison and conclusions are appalling to put it mildly.

  4. July 16, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Comparing corruption of India with US and then calling India less or no-corrupt is to take easy way out.

    Yes.

    It is as easy as saying as

    – There is no corruption in America

    or to say that

    – Americans are serious anout removing corruption. India is not.

    The difficult part is the solution. I thought the solution to corruption is given alongside.

    Truth is corruption in India has reached proportions unheard of before and the blatant manner of doing it across various levels in several public service / sector is another thing.

    This a popular verbal behaviour. I have outlined earlier how Gandhiji and Nehru before Independence were seriously worried about corruption in the British Raj. After Independence, there was corruption. Now there is corruption. Is there any measurement if it has increased or decreased? I dont have any. Do you?

    Going by experience, corruption in telecom, railways ticketing, postal department, has reduced by 99%. It exists in various other departments like before. It has increased tremendously in cases where mining, licences (like telecom, satellite, etc.,) and land are involved.

    The last few decades have made housing in cities beyond the reach of middle class. This is totally due to the corrupt / rich businessmen (buying contracts through corruption) on one side and NRI investment on the other driving up the price

    According to HDFC data, it takes lss than 5 years income to buy a house today, compoared to 11 years income earlier. By this measure, housing has become more affordable.

    while the INR salary earners remain static (in terms of wealth) and could not even fight with the inflation month after month. At this rate, eventually a day will come when the weaker, salary class will be outlawed, enslaved…

    Maybe you should check out the feeling of the small trader or small businessman. They feel they have a bigger problem.

    One can go endlessly with such debate.

    What is interesting in your comment is the fact that corruption has been made into one grab-all bag – and all problems by everyone are being dumped inside that bag.

    Related, partly related or even completely un related.

    This is what is a cause of worry.

  5. July 16, 2012 at 6:46 am

    your comparison and conclusions are appalling to put it mildly.

    If you are happy in just pronouncing judgement and closing the topic, it is OK by me.

    If you have any specific disagreement, alternate viewpoint, please elaborate.

  6. Sridhar (not the same as above)
    August 19, 2012 at 6:20 am

    This should definitely shut up some *admirers* of US,but what about the real problem at home? Dynastic politics has to die my friend, if we really want a real democracy. Other is of sympathy of congress towards muslims which is giving rise to terrorism and extremism, ditto with christianity. I don’t believe Hinduism can protect itself primariy because it has no “church” to protect it from faraway lands. The population of Hindus hate their own image and have started to become too secular (to the extent that they refuse to notice the elephant in the room )
    Regards,
    Sridhar

    PS – *admirers* – Word edited and replaced. Sridhar, language, please.

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