Until about a couple of weeks ago, Stanford (to most people across the world) was synonymous for purely academic reasons. The prestigious educational institution in California took in proud students and churned out distinguished alumni, for they occupy an arguably equal level in the esteemed echelons of the industry as say the Harvard graduates.
The law of averages, or karma (however one wishes to look at it), had to strike back at the Stanford name – it was too long for it to go on without an untarnished image! The Harvard had its fair share of recent criticism if the news coverage of the background and education that the instigators of the biggest financial turmoils in recent times had, was anything to go by. Now it was the other hand’s turn to face the music – ladies and gentlemen, enter RA Stanford.
What took most people by surprise was the quarters the name’s sacrilege came from. A relatively less well known state side until recently, Robert Allen Stanford came into spotlight more or less in the same fashion of his entry into the Mecca of world cricket – Lord’s stadium in England – amidst much fanfare, he descended in a helicopter. Much has been written about, and some even criticized it very early on, the England and Wales cricket board’s hand-in-glove extravagance with Stanford but it was all attributed to just a public display of wealth then.
There’s also been more than enough coverage as to what happened on the sidelines of the Stanford 20/20 game with the WAG’s of English cricket. Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation charge sheeted Stanford after a movie-like chase across the continent with reports that his attempt to flee the country on a private jet failed miserably for his accounts had been frozen the previous day. I am not about to draw conclusions as to whether RA Stanford is a sinner or a saint – there’s many paid folks whose day job it is to make that determination.
Where I find this amusing, or even cynical at some levels, is the quick disassociation of the very same people who were seen closely by his side all along. I am sure there must have been some red flags raised last year, especially when the investigating agencies say they’ve been on his trail for 3+ years now trying to gather all the evidence. The pictures of the helicopter arrival in London make a mighty and stark contrast to the long lines outside the Stanford Bank in Antigua this week ensuring the hard earned money isn’t lost.
I wonder whether the same people knew where the $20M 4-hour game was being funded from. The positives from this – another lesson on financial misrepresentations.
On a lighter note, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!
Image Credit: Media Imran
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