ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Real System Failure

The Real System Failure LANGUAGE does play tricks. Different people use the same expression to mean different things. Finance minister Manmohan Singh has been talking of the banking- cum-stock market scam as a system failure, but in the sense of a failure of the financial system which ensued essentially because it had not been adequately equipped for the large volume of transactions to be properly overseen. He would pin the responsibility largely on the operations of the Reserve Bank of India's public debt office not being fully computerised. Even today he continues to consider the scam as an aberration' though the disclosures since he first tried to explain it away have shown that in terms of not just its magnitude but also its pervasiveness what was perpetrated in a relatively short period of time was nothing short of a gigantic perversion of the whole system. While the finance minister may, for his own reasons, continue to underplay the enormity of the scam, he could well claim to have been among the first to ascribe it to a system failure. But is anyone going to accept this claim? For what the finance minister has meant by system failure is very different from the failure of the financial system which the exposures now clearly establish. Indeed it now appears that it is because of this failure that a fraud of such enormous proportions could be perpetrated and that if the financial system is to be put back on the rails, it is this failure which has to be attended to urgently.

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