Flagship Research Quarterly of the Indian School of Business (ISB). Find out more

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Past Issue • Apr-Jun 2015

The Dark Side of Finance

As finance is about using other people’s money, opportunities to steal are strong (lots of money to be made), easy (people are gullible, think they understand finance, but most do not) and cannot all be eliminated by law (morals cannot be legislated). Professor Utpal Bhattacharya of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology provides a whirlwind tour of 25 years of his research on some of these dark corners of finance.

I grew up in India, one of the world’s most corrupt countries. In 1975, I received a letter from the Central Government informing me that I was entitled to a scholarship for outstanding high school grades, but because my family income was above poverty threshold, I would get a cash award instead. Very fair, I thought. Today it is 2015, 40 years later and I am still waiting for my cash award. Not fair. I am a Bengali. Financial scams in Bengal are an art form. In 2015, it is the scandal of Saradha. In my youth, in the 1980s, it was Sanchayita.


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