The thinking on reconstituting the team comes ahead of the crucial meeting of the core committee in Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), on Saturday which will not be attended by Mr Hazare, who is on a vow of silence from 16th October
New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare Friday hinted at expansion of his core committee as a sense of unease gripped his team over allegations of financial misconduct by some of its key members, reports PTI.
The core committee of Team Anna will be expanded soon, journalist Raju Parulekar, who is Mr Hazare’s official blogger, said as two key members Medha Patkar and Kumar Vishwas demanded ‘overhaul; of the core committee.
He, however, declined to go into details of when and how the revamp will take place.
The thinking on reconstituting the team comes ahead of the crucial meeting of the core committee in Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), on Saturday which will not be attended by Mr Hazare, who is on a vow of silence from 16th October.
The meeting comes against the backdrop of a series of allegations against key members like Mr Kejriwal and Ms Bedi as well as resignation of two prominent activists Rajinder Singh and PV Rajagopal citing the political turn taken by Mr Hazare’s anti-corruption movement.
Mr Parulekar also said Mr Hazare is contemplating forming a pan-India apolitical organisation to achieve his objective of a change in whole electoral system.
“The new outfit would aim at not playing the game of election but to change the rule of the game of election,” Mr Parulekar said adding “it will be an apolitical organisation.”
Though Ms Patkar and Mr Vishwas did not criticise Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, who are facing flak over the running of their NGOs and their financial integrity being questioned, they have referred to the allegations faced by the core committee members.
“I don't think there is a difference of opinion. The only thing is a bit of overhauling is certainly becoming necessary because there are a number of allegations and core committee members are being targeted,” Ms Patkar, who will not be attending tomorrow’s meeting due to prior engagement, said.
Another prominent member Santosh Hegde will also not attend the meeting.
Mr Vishwas shot off a letter to Mr Hazare demanding suspension of the core committee and sought its expansion to make it more representative against the backdrop of Congress leaders targeting it.
“Such attacks (against Team Anna members) and the subsequent clarifications will strengthen the conspiracy to divert the attention from the key issues...I request you to give greater representation to the core committee consisting of limited members and turn it into a hard-core committee comprising of 121 crore people.
“I once again urge you to suspend the present core committee and create a new system to enable us to see a corruption-free new India,” Mr Vishwas, a lecturer-poet, said.
He said the leaders of the ruling party were targeting Mr Hazare and each member of the core committee and trying to tarnish their public image and credibility.
In a veiled attack on key Team Anna members, Mr Hegde said, “Anna’s strength does not lie in a core committee or the people’s honesty in the core committee.” However, he cited a prior commitment in Mumbai for not attending the meet and said there were no differences.
Meanwhile Rajinder Singh, who quit Team Anna due to differences over its political approach, alleged that Anna Hazare deviated from his objective by supporting a ‘corrupt’ candidate in Hisar bye-poll and that his team is full of ‘arrogant’ people.
Mr Singh also attacked Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, alleging they were the ‘most arrogant’ members of Team Anna.
Being former bureaucrats they are in the habit of throwing their weight about and imposing themselves on others, he alleged.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, another member, also triggered a controversy by advocating plebiscite in Kashmir, evoking strong opposition from Mr Hazare and other team members.
Mutual funds are supposed to be long-term investors. Why did IDFC Premier buy Tecpro Systems in August and sell it completely in September and sell Fag Bearings in August and buy it in September?
Most fund managers show you, by way of illustration, how a stock held over years can fetch you high returns, underlining the importance of ‘buy’ and ‘hold’. Do funds follow this approach in practice? Some even buy and sell the same stocks erratically for no apparent reason.
While looking at some fund data we came across some strange transactions in IDFC Premier Equity Fund. As per our data, the fund bought 9,67,545 shares of Tecpro Systems Ltd in August 2011 and then completely sold them in September 2011. Tecpro (listed in October 2010) has halved in value from the listing price. We also noticed that IDFC Premier had 200,000 shares of Fag Bearings at the end of July 2011, sold them completely in the immediate following month, that is, August 2011—and bought 247,602 shares in September 2011. What could be the reason for such frequent buying and selling? We asked the fund house but did not get a relevant answer. Indeed, a spokesperson replied that “we are long-term equity investors and don’t look at short-term opportunistic liquidity events.Given this, your query is factually incorrect” but was unwilling to show what was “factually incorrect” about the data. The data for this is sourced from the Mutual Funds of India (MFI) database; MFI insisted that this information of buying and selling is absolutely correct because it is culled from the data submitted by the fund house itself.
Mutual funds are supposed to be the best bets for those who have no idea about markets and individual stocks. Picking stocks is a job that needs long years of knowledge and expertise and mutual fund managers are supposed to be experts in that game. Unlike millions of uninformed and emotional individual investors who, reacting to greed, buy high and then, reacting to fear, sell low, fund managers are supposed to know what to buy and when.
However, as we have been pointing out time after time in many of our articles on mutual funds, including some unusual fund managers are, after all, human and they too act like individual investors from time to time. They buy the wrong stocks; they buy at the wrong time; and they sell at the wrong time. They cruise along in a bull market confusing luck with performance and are shocked to find the market collapsing around them. They talk of value investing but hold on to expensive stocks hoping for one more rally. They chase momentum. Not all fund managers sport these patterns of behaviour always, but almost all of them do at some time or the other. As we said, they are human.
We have nothing against IDFC Premier. It is a well-performing fund. We wished to understand the factors behind its performance. The bizarre buying and selling from month to month is not confined to IDFC Premier. We will bring more stories of buying and selling by fund houses in the near future.
The future of its Indian arm, MF Global Sify Securities, is also at stake. MF Global had overextended itself beyond futures trade—its credit rating has now been downgraded to junk by major ratings agencies, its stock is plummeting
MF Global Holdings’ credit rating has been cut to junk status. It has resulted in its equity value plunging 60% since Monday. What will its impact be on MF
Global Sify Securities, which is a subsidiary of MF Global Holdings?
MF Global Holdings, a leading global broker of exchange-listed futures & options, suffered a series of blows this week. The firm, headed by former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Jon Corzine, underwent a downgrade on Monday by Moody’s to a grade just above ‘junk’ status. After reporting a loss on Tuesday, Standard and Poor’s suggested a possible downgrade for the firm the following day. On Thursday, Fitch Ratings downgraded the brokerage firm’s credit rating to junk status.
There have been further reports that the firm is planning to sell a part of its operations. However, a few reports have indicated that the probability of MF Global striking a deal with a buyer was low. A number of firms have indicated interest in a possible deal, but there is absolutely no concrete buyout plan so far.
This has resulted in the stock of the firm plummeting nearly 60% since Monday which included a 16% decline on Thursday before finally closing at $1.43.
A major reason for the downgrade is that the firm has taken on substantial risk in the form of its exposure to European sovereign debt amounting to about $6.30 billion as a part of an effort to transform itself into an investment bank that did more than just place trades for clients on futures exchanges.
MF Global Sify Securities is a joint venture between MF Global and Sify, which offers online and offline equity and derivatives trading for retail customers as well as execution and clearing services for financial institutions. Chances are that the Indian subsidiary would be affected by the global crisis as well. The big question is what will be the impact on its clients?
The brokerage firm has been through such situations before. In 2005, the parent company Refco LLC, collapsed under allegations of securities fraud and was then taken over by Man Financial, which later changed its name to MF Global. In 2008, rogue trading cost MF Global $141 million resulting in its shares plunging 90%.
In both the cases the firm was able to pull itself out of the crisis. But this time it will have a tough task ahead. A few global reports have indicated that regulatory permission for any possible buyout deal might be difficult to come about, given the current mood in Wall Street.