In 1993 when the NSE was formed we were told it will be run by professionals. Professionals in India means they wear a tie and suit and swear in English. Non Professionals meant they wore a dhoti, spoke in Hindi (and English) and swore in Hindi.

As a fan of Ayn Rand a few of us were suspicious of NSE and soon we found the cracks. For money you could get data from NSE. Who is buying R? who is selling T? who is shorting H? – you got an answer for all this on a real time basis with alerts for big volumes. So many people knew who was going to sell 10,00,000 shares of xyz – or who had put the all or none order. This is all before 1999.

In 1999/2000 I ceased being a broker and then onward I heard whispers but did not have any first hand information.

No, NSE was never clean. They were the English speaking guys who sided with the gora and got rid of the ‘badla’ system. The gora could not participate in the Badla system as they did not have Indian shares. So F and O was introduced and it took the Indians a little time to understand.

AS, ST, etc. were at the forefront introducing many of these concepts and some of us have attended their talks. Good communicators, but I always searched for skin in the game. I realized that they wanted to sell software or algorithms.

However, bred in the old school I never traded big time in FnO and never expected the Derivatives market to be X times the cash market. That was a learning. We heard names, amounts of money, trades…..but not with any great conviction. Thanks to a whistle blower, and Sucheta (Debashis) many of the skeletons came out. Or tried to come out.

One of the big sellers of data had meanwhile fallen out with the old gang and had gone elsewhere. Did he have a hand in data coming out about such murky doings?

I do think the NSE IPO is a dream. So the high salaries have been digested, but the wealth of ESOP will evaporate.

In the 1992 scam the Tam Brahms were ONLY the victims. Here they were part players, part tools and part victims.

Watch this space, abhi picture baaki hai mere dost.

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