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Commentary

Rahul Gandhi Doesn’t Say, SEBI Might Regulate Tweets, The Sahara Farce in Vacation-Returned-Links

The vacation to Goa was fantastic. I visit Goa often and have zero interest in sight-seeing, so it might seem extremely boring to hear that all I did was hang out with the family, swim and play with sand on the beach. But it’s just that simple.

Complexity sometimes adds a tremendous amount of stress in our lives. There are people who plan holidays with precision. On this day, we’ll get up early, head to this place at 9 AM, see this museum at 9:25, eat here at 10:14, smell the roses at 14:26 and so on. This kind of thing stresses me out; and then I’ll need a holiday from the holiday. My policy is you don’t need to remember what you did on a holiday. You need to remember how you felt.

Let me get back to some of the things that seem to have happened during my absence.

Rahul Gandhi gave a speech to CII which some people thought was great, other people thought was shoddy, and after reading it I have come to the realization that he said nothing. Devangshu Datta, in his inimitable style, thinks he said everything by not saying anything.

SEBI is supposedly thinking of issuing guidelines to companies on how they can reveal pieces of information to the broad public. (HT MediaNama) The ET article claims this is because of new regulations issues by the SEC that extend reguation FD (Fair Disclosure) to twitter and facebook. A tweet from @footnoted has details:

SEC’s regulation was based on Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings’ facebook post where he said that online views of Netflix went over 1 billion hours; soon, the stock raced from $71 to $82.

My view is that before doing such insane things SEBI needs to have a strong regulation FD in the first place, and prosecute companies that reveal information selectively to analysts or a class of investors. Already, companies do that – they tell analysts information that isn’t told to a broader public; either through analyst-only calls or otherwise. This already violates current laws, but SEBI never really fines companies for non-compliance.

SEBI has another major show to conclude. After winning in the Supreme Court, SEBI still finds it difficult to nail Sahara and recover money from it. Latest is a salvo fired by the grammatically challenged Sahara where it states that it has already repaid 20,000 crore rupees (Rs. 200 bn) to investors in “cash”. This is downright silly, when it was not able to produce a randomly picked investor in court, from its documents.

Sahara now says that it has paid back money in cash, as over 90% of its investors invested less than Rs. 20,000 (the limit beyond which TDS must be deducted, so a PAN number is required of the investor concerned). It says that nearly 3 cr. investors with it (out of 3.3 cr. total investors) had a balance of less than Rs. 20,000. While this might be true, it’s very unlikely that money has actually been paid – if they coudn’t even find an investor, how would they have paid them back within a few months? At some level, this is a big farce.

Keep watching – a lot more interesting things will come.

  • asmita says:

    “My policy is you don’t need to remember what you did on a holiday. You need to remember how you felt.” Liked this.
    In sahara’s case SEBI must broadcast on TV and radio true facts, the real small investors of sahara don’t read pink papers how would they know if they are duped. Once its in TV and radio there will be run on sahara agents for sure. the barbers, veggi venders depositing petty sums only know truth what sahara agents tell them.