As Andrew Ross Sorkin noted in his NY Times Dealbook column, the Galleon trial is “a suspenseful, complex financial version of Law & Order”.
As the defense lawyers argue that Rajaratnam was just doing his job, what I find most fascinating are the characters in this story. If I were to write the Law and Order episode (fictional, of course) here’s how I would profile the leading characters:
There’s the femme fatale, inspired by Danielle Chiesi, who fools herself into thinking that she’s made a career using her brains. It’s really her talent at seeking out highly successful male executives and using her super-powers to get them to spill their company’s confidential secrets that gets her ahead. I would cast Sharon Stone in this role.
Next we have the cooperating witnesses. Most of them are still wearing two-thousand-dollar suits, but they are tired and worn down and wondering how they could have possibly gotten themselves in this mess after working so hard to make it to the positions they’ve now been fired from. These characters could be played by Bill Paxton and Chris Noth, among others.
Finally, the lead male character would have to be inspired by Raj Rajaratnam. This character is a self-made billionaire, who truly believes that all he was doing was chasing after the American Dream. He also believes he is above it all, and that his financial status will shield him. Despite his extreme arrogance, he has an uncanny ability to self-destruct. I am having difficulty casting the actor for this role. Perhaps Mel Gibson? Or maybe we need to go with an unknown actor.
Unlike the real-life story, in my fictional story, the Rajaratnam character would have to take the stand, believing that if he could just speak to the jury he could convince them that he is innocent.
As the real-life trial draws to a close, will there be a cliffhanger ending as Sorkin suggests? What do you think?