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Corporates, Regulators and Social Media

Regulators can benefit from positive engagement with informed bloggers on corporate shenanigans

 
Until the first insider-trading regulations were introduced in 1992, almost anyone who traded on the Indian stock exchanges believed he had a nugget of inside information that was unknown to the public at large. Since then, although market manipulation has remained rampant as ever, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tinkered with insider-trading regulations every few years, to the point of absurdity. The latest rules make a set of people, defined as ‘insiders’ culpable, even if the recipient of information has neither acted on it nor profited from it. Despite the hard work at tightening rules and to catch those involved in money laundering through the brazen manipulation of unfancied stocks continues—which we document in every issue.
 
Given this state of lawlessness, SEBI’s insider-trading action in Palred Technologies is a much-needed warning signal to manipulators who thought the watchdog would never sniff around their facebook friends’ list, or twitter and Whatsapp groups. SEBI’s action in February 2016 revealed that insiders are leaving enough of a trail to be nailed. It has ordered the impounding of unlawful gains of over Rs2 crore from 15 individuals including chairman and managing director Palme Srikanth Reddy and other family members. Although Palred is a little-known company, the stock attracted a lot of attention because it was a listed e-commerce company, fancied by well-known investors with a loyal following on social media.
 
While SEBI has done well in this case, we would also like to see some action by the regulator to protect those who supplement its work by putting out detailed, almost forensic, analysis of powerful companies and market intermediaries.  Since companies are able to control mainstream media through advertisements and sponsorships, social media and blogs were seen as levellers that allowed individuals to get a public voice. However, unscrupulous companies are actively using defamation, especially criminal defamation, as a tool to suppress such voices.
 
A highly respected academic told us about how the police landed at his doorstep to arrest him on charges of criminal defamation when he posted a detailed analysis about a much-fancied education company which is now in the doldrums. Threatening calls and other harassment followed, leaving him and his family in a state of panic. Most often, a single such experience turns into a long and expensive nightmare, in the absence of any support from the regulator. Instead of interacting with such analysts who can act as its eyes and ears—much like police informants—all Indian regulators prefer to operate out of ivory towers, cut off from investors, depositors and customers who are their largest stakeholders. Is it any wonder that public confidence in regulation is at such a low? 

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Priyanka Chopra plays bad roles better: Dwayne Johnson
Los Angeles : Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, who has now become a popular name in the West due to her role in American thriller series “Quantico”, will next be seen playing a negative character in upcoming film "Baywatch". Her co-star Dwayne Johnson feels the actress plays bad roles “better” than the good ones.
 
“She's (Priyanka) cool, but does bad even better. Can't wait. #Baywatch,” Johnson posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
 
The National Award-winning actress will be seen playing the villain in the movie, based on the popular 1990s TV series of the same name.
 
Johnson, best known as The Rock, earlier welcomed the “Bajirao Mastani” actress on board by sharing a video on Instagram.
 
In the video, he is seen in the frame with the former beauty queen against seaside.
 
“She's one of the biggest stars in the world. Insanely talented, relentlessly smoking and extremely dangerous - perfect for #Baywatch. Welcome @PriyankaChopra to our bad a** and incredibly dysfunctional family. Cue Rated R slo-mo running on the beach. We start shooting next week. World. #WelcomeToBaywatch,” Johnson wrote alongside the video.
 
One of the most watched TV shows globally, "Baywatch", was about the Los Angeles county lifeguards who patrol the beaches of Los Angeles, California. It starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson among others.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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