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Despite all the hubbub, the sad truth is that few people in India believe that the Satyam scam will lead to any significant change in business and auditing practices. Business corruption seems here to stay. It is widely acknowledged that there is extensive fraud and corruption in many of India's family-controlled companies. And that politicians invest in fast-growing companies and help to deflect official inquiries, as is alleged to have happened at Satyam over the past decade.
"There is little integrity in financial reporting," says a top banker, who like many business leaders did not want to be named criticizing the system. Executives at Noble Group, a United Kingdom investment bank that last year opened a brokerage business in India, are the rare exception. "When we entered India we realized we had to gloss over facts with investors--or highlight them," says Saurabh Mukherjee, the firm's head of Indian equities. The firm decided it would be better to pull back the curtain on such practices.
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