Yesterday, two important judgements were pronounced across the world. Lets forget for a moment the Ayodhya judgement. These pertains to Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber and Jerome Kerviel, who almost caused Societe Generale to go bankrupt in 2008.
In both the sentences, the accused has pleaded guilty. Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty for parking the bomb-laden truck in Times Square appeared unrepentant. When the Judge asked him if the Koran prescribes these kind of activities, he told that the Koran has permitted him to defend and thats what he has been doing, he claimed. He has warned of more attacks. His case goes on to show how an educated and westernised person like him gets swayed in his thoughts. Really worrisome!
The second case is that of the rogue trader, Jerome Kerviel, who ran up positions on Exchange Traded Futures for more than USD50 billion without proper approvals from his management. He went on to manipulate very internal controls and when finally it was discovered and Societe Generale had to unwind the position, it resulted in a loss of Euro4.9 billion to the bank! The judge has sentenced him to 3 years imprisionment and asked him to pay back Euro4.9 billion to the bank. I wonder how he is going to do that.
The underlying similarity between both the cases is the absolute lack of understanding on the part of the conspirators on the impact their actions can lead to. When they were doing it, their judgement gets clouded and driven only by the immediate benefit that accrues to them. It is very important for people to step back a moment and try to see the bigger picture. It is easier said than done, but most of the time, it helps us to do or refrain from doing something very drastic. I have my share of short-sighted actions, which has resulted in untold agony and pain for self and others.