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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Brac Bank Chamcha (Sajjadur Rahman) at The Daily Star

Sometimes companies get too close for comfort with the media. Some are painfully obvious to normal readers while the ones participating in the act do so without any recollection or humility.

It has been a constant observation that one writer, X of The Daily Star usually has one goal to promote and talk about: Brac Bank. So close is the relationship between this "reporter" that whenever his Brac Bank publicity article is published, the newspaper also carries a Brac Bank ad. A quick search of The Daily Star archive will find that Brac Bank and X are indeed married.

Moreover X enjoys unhindered access to the top management of Brac Bank. Why is this odd? Because most executives stay away from the media to avoid the "cut and paste" of statements to suit a motive. But Brac Bank is strikingly different, giving X access to the entire staff, Chairman and MD. The financial link between these two entities is painfully obvious after articles after articles always center around Brac Bank.

Even the most unrelated bank news always has a Brac Bank tie in, even though it is not relevant. Bangladesh Bank letting banks open branches? Oh, Brac Bank is opening 15 branches this year (others don't matter). The entire article follows like a Brac Bank ad.

Nevertheless it does not mean that Brac Bank itself is not newsworthy. Believe me they are. The bank is still continuously refusing to reimburse victims of the 1970s style locker heist that took place last year. Where is X's puff piece on that? You won't see anything regarding this news or any updates either by X or The Daily Star.

Secondly I don't know if anyone has noticed their stock has tanked for no good reason for awhile now. This is long before GSP Finance came into the picture or went out. What no discussion why a stock trading at Tk 1200 is now at Tk 550 even without any dividend announcement? But I will disclose that I own Brac Bank stock (and if I was X I would also disclose the financial arrangements between us).

Other than the American banks, I don't believe any Bangladeshi Bank's stock has tanked so badly. This is even after paying for articles and stretching the truth in so many X articles.

Although the financial arrangement is obvious there are lessons to be learnt. Like the noted MasterCard ad, somethings in life are priceless. Maintaining proper security over bank lockers is one of them, because 40 puff pieces and paying off a reporter is not going to fix it. Neither is it going to cover up for a flawed business model. But even more important is a writer's reputation. Everything that X will ever write has been paid for.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is this person censored as X? When it is obvious that it is Sajjadur Rahman?

Ahmed Ali said...

I have no idea. I wrote it as Sajjadur Rahman, but one of the admins censored it. It led me to believe "Sajjadur Rahman" is a new swear word for a Brac Bank chamcha.

Remember the Dulabhai article on this blog? It started out as 'I suspect that my Dulabhai is a ghushkhor'

well since one of the admins is responsible for this censorship, I suspect Sajjadur Rahman might have a dulabhai here.

It is a letdown for a blog that claims to criticize their false promises, expose their internal malpractices Even at times authors here have named people outright and criticized them but according to the admins, Sajjadur Rahman I guess is above them all.

Good news? This article exposed two hypocrisies.

Bradly Jones said...

I don’t know how Bangladeshi women do it, but they deserve more respect than they receive. Regardless of whether raising a child or having a job and feeding a whole family, the life is hard but these women are strong.



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Robin said...

Arn't all the banks acting like they don't answer to anyone?! This is why the world's finances are in ruins.

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