Not a Simple Problem
Recently I became the victim of a financial ponzi scheme. Some years ago an acquaintance pleaded with me to invest some money in a fixed deposit scheme of a private company that was offering a few percentage points more interest than a much safer bank deposit. Although I am financially savvy enough to understand the implications and risks of such an investment, I did put in some money in that scheme only because it made that person happy. The inevitable has now happened and it appears to me, although only as an afterthought, that I invested and risked a bit more than my situation would countenance. The maturity cheque offered by the company bounced and there’s a news report that a governmental authority has now proceeded to prosecute the company concerned for cheating and fraud.
When the cheque was dishonoured, I discussed with a friend about my future course of action as far as that investment was concerned. Besides taking it up with the company and perhaps going for some legal action, I wanted to write about my bitter experience and wondered why the matter had not received much publicity in the media yet. My sole aim was to make other innocent investors aware of what had been happening so they became cautious and desisted from investing still more money in that company.
As I shared my views with my friend, he began to analyze the repercussions of such an action and protest. He tried to analyze which political figure and which political party would gain the “maximum mileage” from such an event, what would happen to the party in power as well as those in the opposition if the matter received wide publicity in the media. He also tried to make me understand which local leaders of different parties as well as which media group and journalists would gain or lose if I really wanted to proceed.
While my friend was going on with his considered views and analysis, my jaws dropped and I showed every sign of being crestfallen. Then I recovered and found the whole analysis rather amusing. I was trying to digest how a simple matter of law and an incident that involved fraud, cheating and making profit at the cost of poor and innocent investors could have so many stakeholders! In other words, what should have been simply a matter of crime and punishment had thus taken, at least in my friend’s mind, such a huge dimension involving journalists, the media, politicians, political parties et al. What’s more, from what he was telling me it appeared that a whole lot of other people, people who on the face of it may appear to have no stake at all in such an issue, were actually more important than those who had been the direct victims of the financial fraud.
I now feel that my friend was not so wrong after all. No problem in these modern times is a simple problem. For had they been so, we may not have needed the journalists, the media, the politicians and political parties as well as ‘experts’ like my friend.