You may remember that Mr. Gupta was once leading Goldman Sachs, having first headed up the most prominent Management  Consulting firm in the US, McKinsey.  These two positions with their huge salaries and bonuses did not stop him from breaking the law.  If he had only read  the tiny book, “The Way of Man” he might have asked himself this simple/complex  question, “Where art thou?”.    These three words  might have stopped  him  from giving away insider secrets that benefited only a few investors and cheated the others. 

Richard Tarlowe, a Federal prosecutor, wrote that Mr. Gupta’s behavior is “particularly troubling at a time when there is widespread concern about corruption, greed and recklessness at the highest levels of the financial services industry.”

Management Consulting?   

Corruption, Greed, Recklessness?

Did Mr. Gupta model these behaviors to others, especially to those lower on the corporate ladder?  Of course he did. 

The factor that makes all this is so puzzling is that Mr. Gupta also contributed to global welfare, global health issues, various philanthropies, and has inspired  400 letters from prominent people recommending  that his actions  in these other areas could lead to a light punishment. One is from Bill Gates; another from Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General. 

One of the options on the table before Judge Jed Rakoff is to allow Mr. Gupta to perform community service in Rwanda.  

“Where art thou?” is an ancient way of asking, “What is the significance of this action?”  Are you making this behavioral decision from your conscience, your higher self, or from your wallet?

Tomorrow, Judge Rakoff will either send Mr. Gupta to Rwanda or to jail for 8 to 10 years and a day.   All those who learned from Mr. Gupta might want to remember to ask themselves this question before making a financial or moral decision, “Where art thou?”

Good behaviors do not necessarily cancel out bad decisions.