This month’s Bloomberg Businessweek cover story on Rajat Gupta begins:
Although he would be described later by friends — in a conversation captured on an FBI wiretap — as being on the verge of “a massive implosion,” Rajat K. Gupta appeared relaxed as he greeted hundreds of guests on the manicured lawns of his estate in Westport, Conn., on the afternoon of June 21, 2008.
The occasion was the marriage of the eldest of his four daughters, Geetanjali, and it was a lavish affair — “the wedding of the decade,” one guest called it in an account published in the African Sun Times.
The invitations had been trimmed with gold, many of the guests flown in from around the globe. Photographs show a large Hindu temple garlanded with flowers, women in glittering saris, the bride’s father, in traditional kurta pajamas, mingling with his guests in the gardens outside his French Provincial-style mansion. It was an event that was in keeping not only with Gupta’s wealth but also with his corporate stature.
The former head of McKinsey and a trusted consigliere to chief executives around the world, he was a director of American Airlines, Procter & Gamble, and Goldman Sachs, and sat on the boards of the Rockefeller and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations. At the time, he was also that rare businessman whose integrity was considered beyond reproach.
Yet if the Securities and Exchange Commission is to be believed, just 11 days before his daughter’s wedding celebration, Gupta had done something virtually no one who knew him could have imagined. According to the SEC, it was on the evening of June 10, 2008, that Gupta, in “a flurry” of phone conversations with Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of the Galleon Group of hedge funds, allegedly divulged Goldman Sachs’s still secret second-quarter earnings.
What Gupta did is a mystery to “06880.” It astonishes us, amazes us, and forces us to re-examine everything we thought we knew about Westport.
How could no one here have not known anything at all about the “wedding of the decade”?