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Sahara India Commercial Corporation (SICCL) — A MYSTRY — AN ENIGMA — OR — A LOOT

2.6 m Shareholders, but Sahara Co Still Unlisted

Sahara India Commercial Not on Bourses Despite  3,000-cr Issue

In October 2009, Sahara India Commercial Corporation (SICCL), part of Sahara Group of Companies, decided to issue shares to a bunch of investors. While the size of the share issue— 3,000 crore—was substantial, what was really startling was not the amount, but the number of shareholders who were allotted shares: 2.6 million. Even if this were the only share issue by the company, it would make it the third-largest company in the country today in terms of number of shareholders—behind Reliance Power (4.9 million shareholders as of December 2010), and Reliance Industries (3.5 million). That share issue by SICCL placed it far ahead of other stellar names of India Inc such as Tata Steel and NTPC, in terms of the shareholder base.

But here’s the real surprise. Despite the share issue, SICCL is not listed on any stock exchange. According to filings by the company with the registrar of companies, West Bengal, the company issued 30 crore shares with a face value of 1, at a premium of 99, on October 29, 2009. The number of allottees were 26,89,935. The company has also uploaded, on the RoC site, a long list of the share allottees. The shares have not been listed on any exchange. “The companies act and SEBI regulations are clear,” says Tejesh Chitlangi, a senior associate with Finsec Law Advisors: “Section 67 of The Companies Act construes an offering of shares or debentures to 50 or more persons as an offer or invitation to the public, for which norms listed out in SEBI Regulations would need to be followed. These include issuing of prospectus, compliance with the procedures and other disclosure norms.”

In response to a questionnaire sent by ET, Sahara spokesperson, Abhijit Sarkar said: “SICCL is an unlisted public limited company and does not intend to list its shares at any of the stock exchanges as decided by the board of directors of the company. Compliances with the SEBI Regulations are applicable for the listed companies as well the company who intend to get their shares listed on the stock exchanges.”

He said necessary board and shareholder approvals were taken. Further, the fact that the return of allotment was duly approved by RoC West Bengal was evidence that “required compliances for allotment of equity shares by the company are fully complied with”. According to Sahara, an approval from the RoC was given in September 2010.

Staying Away from the Street Sahara arm not listed on any stock exchange
The company: Sahara India Commercial Corporation

Business: Real Estate and infrastructure

No. of shareholders: 2.6 million Funds raised: Rs 3,000 crore

Type of company: Public, but unlisted

•Third-largest company in India today in terms of number of shareholders—behind Reliance Power and Reliance Industries

• As of March 2009, SICCL posted a loss before tax of Rs 449 cr, on revenues of Rs 1,600 cr
• Its balance-sheet size, as of March 2009, was Rs 8,591 cr. Over 80% of this, Rs 6,922 cr, was raised through OFCDs Two Share Allotments

Says Jayant Thakur, a chartered accountant specialising in securities law: “When a company raises funds from more than 50 people, it does not remain a private placement, but is a public issue. For this, listing requirements, as well as other SEBI norms must be followed.” SICCL, according to other filings with the RoC, is primarily a real estate and infrastructure developer. Documents filed by the company describe it as ‘perhaps one of the largest infrastructure and housing development company in India.” As of March 2009, the company posted a loss before tax of . 449 crore, on revenues of . 1,600 crore. SICCL’s balance-sheet size, as of March 2009, was . 8,591 crore. Of this, . 6,922 crore (over 80%) was raised through the issue of optionally fully convertible debentures, or OFCDs. OFCDs are bonds, which on maturity, and at the option of the investor, can be converted into equity shares.
Between March 2009 and June 2010, SICCL completed two share allotments—one for . 3,000 crore to 2.6 million investors, and the other of . 2,000 crore, done on June 30, 2010, to five private limited companies. Thus the total amount of shares issued by the company, as a result of these two allotments, was . 5,000 crore. It could not be ascertained whether the two share allotments arose as a result of the conversion of OFCDs, issued earlier by the company, into shares or whether these were standalone issues of shares to investors. Sahara Group did not give details about the circumstances under which the shares were issued.

According to SICCL’s debenture prospectus, shareholder approvals for OFCDs were given at seven different meetings held between 1998 and 2005 and were to be on private placement basis to “friends, associates, group companies, workers/employees and individuals having their association with group companies”. The OFCD issue opened on July 6, 1998, and closed on June 30, 2008. According to the debenture prospectus, the total size of the issue, spread over five types of bonds, and 10 years, was . 17,250 crore. The funds raised were to be used to finance a number of projects, including the development of the Aamby Valley project.

Late last year, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had banned two other Sahara Group companies—Sahara India real estate corporation (SIRECL), and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation(SHICL)—from raising funds from the public through the issue of OFCDs, without going through the necessary approvals and procedures required. The two companies claimed that they had not made a ‘public offer’ (defined as an offer to more than 50 investors), as claimed by SEBI, but had placed the debentures privately and among a few friends, associates and others close to the group. Therefore, the companies claimed, SEBI had no jurisdiction. The market regulator, disagreeing with the claim of a ‘private placement’, had imposed the ban.

The SEBI ban on the other two Sahara companies was stayed by the Allahabad High Court but the stay order was lifted earlier this month. SEBI has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court against the issuance of any ex-parte orders in the case (which are issued without one of the parties being present). Sahara is reported to have filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court as well, though this could not be confirmed.

Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

New World Order Imminent!- Anyone For A Game Of Ping Pong?

This vedio has been uploaded for my learned audiences, fans, students and scholars and rest others, who wish to understand issue of New World Order. I would top up the same by a commentry on Asian Environment Soon. Hope you find some value in it.Always Your—– As Usual — Saurabh Singh

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Relationship Marketing in Retailing

Only Business and No Administration

Only Business and No Administration will never create a Synergy Termed Business Administration. Business Administration is not alone Commerce; rather to be exact, it is art and science of governance applied to Business Entity.Illustration could be given as in Case of Nations, they do transact a number of Business and Commerce Related Activities, but what is being done is act called Governance and Administration. Popularly Termed as Public Administration.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

War amongst two Organs of same Body: Did Somebody Say Cannibalization: Is it Suicidal?

Market regulator SEBI has barred 14 private life insurance companies from selling unit-linked insurance plans without its approval, giving a fresh twist to the turf war between SEBI and insurance watchdog IRDA.

“We expect some companies to move the court” said the CEO of a life company. “It is unfortunate that this dispute has been allowed to reach this stage. It is time for the finance ministry to intervene” he added.

In an order signed by Prashant Sharn, wholetime director, SEBI, said, “I hereby direct the entities mentioned in this order not to issue any offer document, advertisement, brochure soliciting money from investors or raise money from investors by way of new and/or additional subscription for any product (including ULIPSs) having an investment component in the nature of mutual funds, till they obtain the requisite certificate of registration from SEBI.”

The 14 companies mentioned in this order include Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.

A few months back, SEBI had questioned individual life companies why they were selling investment products without its approval. Companies had responded individually that insurance laws permit them to offer an investment component within a life insurance policy. They also said that they were regulated by SEBI who had cleared all these products. The life companies were supported by the market regulator, who reiterated the stand taken by life companies.

In its final order SEBI said, “I find that the entities by their own admission have stated that there are two components of ULIPSs – an insurance component where the risk on the life insurance portion vests with the insurer and the investment component where the risk lies with the investor. This establishes conclusively that ULIPSs are a combination product and the investment component need to be registered with and regulated by SEBI”

SEBI’s order has implications not only for the life insurance companies but also for their promoters who have sunk in over Rs 26,000 crore in the form paid up capital. According to analyst reports, a significant portion of the value of various companies including, ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Nuvo, SBI Life and Bajaj Fin serve. Most of the business written by these companies is through ULIPSs. If these companies are barred from selling ULIPSs, their valuations are likely to be hit.

Atul Surana , Certified Financial Planner and MD of Catalyst Financial Planning, says, “Anybody will understand one clear partial stand of SEBI which has not included LIC’s name in the list of life insurance companies selling ULIPSs. Secondly, this sounds much like a war between IRDA and SEBI who are bent on proving their authorities. These two regulators could have sorted out the issue on regulatory process first and then issued the order!”

So far as the order’s negative implications are concerned, experts say that while they broadly agree with the concerns of the regulator, it is also important to look at some possible negative implications of this move.

For instance, this process of another regulatory approval might take away the sheen from these products. Insurance companies may not be inclined.  The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s latest order on ULIPSs is expected to have far-reaching implications for the concerned life insurance companies as well as investors. SEBI has issued a directive to all private life insurance companies not to issue any offer document or advertisement soliciting money from investors for a ULIPS or any product having an investment part in the nature of mutual funds, till they approve of the same.

This directive is the latest in a series of initiatives taken by the market regulator to put an end to all unfair market practices and make the process of investments simple, fair and cost efficient for an investor. While the immediate fallout will be negative for all the 14 private life insurance companies as ULIPSs form a major part of the new business written by these companies in the recent past, yet some financial experts feel that this is a welcome step as it puts an end to the unfair practice of pushing life insurance policies as investment products to gullible investors.

“In the current market practice investors end up paying very high charges for the investment part of these policies and are usually not aware of the expenses they are paying. This is because unlike a normal share or mutual fund investment there are usually a myriad of charges in a ULIPS product hidden behind numerous provisions and clauses which are sometimes not easy to comprehend even by insurance professionals,” says Ashish Kapur, CEO, Invest Shoppe India Ltd, adding, “hence common investors have very little chance of ever getting an accurate picture of the costs they are incurring on these insurance and investment combination products.”

Still all is not well with the SEBI order as it is believed to have some partiality besides having some negative implications to offer these products if the regulations are very tough and costly to comply with.

FRIENDLY FIRE: EXPECTED NUMBER OF CASUALTIES

SEBI’s order asking 14 insurance companies to stop selling unit-linked insurance plans has turned into full-fledged regulatory battle with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority issuing its own order directing the 14 companies to continue selling ULIPSs.

“After due consultation with the members of the consultative committee all the 14 insurance companies which are mentioned in the order of SEBI are directed to note that notwithstanding the said order of the SEBI, they shall continue to carry out insurance business as usual including offering, marketing and servicing ULIPSs in accordance with the Insurance Act 1938” IRDA said in a late evening order on Saturday signed by chairman J Harinarayan.

In the order IRDA observed that SEBI’s order would upset financial stability, jeorpardise policy holders interest and was prejudicial to the interest of insurers. The 14 companies mentioned in this order include; Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.

“The IRDA Act `99 is specifically enacted to provide for an authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure the orderly growth of the insurance industry” IRDA said. The insurance industry was greatly relieved by IRDA’s order. “It is now between the regulators who have to settle this among themselves” said a senior industry official.

SEBI’s order has more far reaching implications than a press release or a circular. Since the order has been issued under Section 34(i) (a) and (b) of the insurance Act. IRDA has said that in the year `08-09 ULIPS policies involving a total premium of Rs 90,645 cr were in force. In fiscal `09-10 upto February 16.7 lakh policies have been sold with a premium of Rs 44,611crores. “It is also observed that the 14 insurance companies have an equity capital of Rs 16,281cr as on March 2009” IRDA said.

The insurance regulator said that observance of SEBI’s order would cause the stoppage of all renewals of insurance policies already invested by the insuring public may result in forced premature surrender of insurance policies causing substantial loss to the policyholders and to the insurers. “The effective stoppage of the sale of the products would cause a complete drying up of revenue flows to the insurance companies which could disrupt the payment of benefits on maturity, on death and on other admissible claims, putting the policyholder and the general public to irreparable financial loss. The financial position of the insurers will be seriously jeopardized thus destabilizing the market and upsetting financial stability” IRDA said.

IRDA IS FIRST TO BLOW CONCH – DIN’T YOU HEAR THE WAR CRY

SEBI’s order asking 14 insurance companies to stop selling unit-linked insurance plans has turned into full-fledged regulatory battle with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority issuing its own order directing the 14 companies to continue selling ULIPSs.

“After due consultation with the members of the consultative committee all the 14 insurance companies which are mentioned in the order of SEBI are directed to note that notwithstanding the said order of the SEBI, they shall continue to carry out insurance business as usual including offering, marketing and servicing ULIPSs in accordance with the Insurance Act 1938” IRDA said in a late evening order on Saturday signed by chairman J Harinarayan.

In the order IRDA observed that SEBI’s order would upset financial stability, jeorpardise policy holders interest and was prejudicial to the interest of insurers. The 14 companies mentioned in this order include; Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.


“The IRDA Act `99 is specifically enacted to provide for an authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure the orderly growth of the insurance industry” IRDA said. The insurance industry was greatly relieved by IRDA’s order. “It is now between the regulators who have to settle this among themselves” said a senior industry official.

SEBI’s order has more far reaching implications than a press release or a circular. Since the order has been issued under Section 34(i) (a) and (b) of the insurance Act. IRDA has said that in the year `08-09 ULIPS policies involving a total premium of Rs 90,645 cr were in force. In fiscal `09-10 up to February 16.7 lakh policies have been sold with a premium of Rs 44,611crores. “It is also observed that the 14 insurance companies have an equity capital of Rs 16,281cr as on March 2009” IRDA said.

The insurance regulator said that observance of SEBI’s order would cause the stoppage of all renewals of insurance policies already invested by the insuring public may result in forced premature surrender of insurance policies causing substantial loss to the policyholders and to the insurers. “The effective stoppage of the sale of the products would cause a complete drying up of revenue flows to the insurance companies which could disrupt the payment of benefits on maturity, on death and on other admissible claims, putting the policyholder and the general public to irreparable financial loss. The financial position of the insurers will be seriously jeopardized thus destabilizing the market and upsetting financial stability” IRDA said.

POLICE DECIDES TO TURN SPECTOR

The finance ministry today kept a safe distance from the ongoing row between market regulator SEBI and insurance watchdog IRDA over ULIPs, saying the two regulators have to resolve the issue.

“It’s a matter between regulators; so they have to decide,” finance secretary Ashok Chawla told when sought his comments on yesterday’s SEBI decision to ban 14 life insurers from raising any more money from the unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) in which a portion of the premium amount is invested in stock markets, a move opposed by the insurance regulator.

The SEBI decision was taken after the market regulator had sent notices to these companies asking them as to explain why they did not take its permission to launch these schemes.

Insurance regulator IRDA is understood to have stated in its reply that regulation of ULIPs by IRDA is well-laid down and that it does not agree with SEBI contention that insurers need a certificate of registration from the market regulator for dealing in ULIPs.

The issue was also taken up at the meeting of the inter-regulatory body, the High Level Coordination Committee (HLCC). It was decided at the meeting that the two regulators should settle the issue between themselves.

Chawla said the SEBI and IRDA have not so far been able to come to any resolution. “So, SEBI has taken a legal process. He was going to be silent spectator to see the fire power of both Regulators.

 

Always Yours   — As Usual — Saurabh Singh, India

[Thanks are expressed for too many peple]

Following As A New Tool is Merging Contacts with Following

Enables Users to Follow Other Users and Their Work

To enable users to be in contacts with other users, and to follow their work. People didn’t always understand the difference between contacts and following. The difference was that contacts was a two-way relationship, so both parties had to confirm the connection. Following is a one-way relationship: you can follow someone’s work without them having to approve that. The idea behind having two connections was that ‘contacts’ were for people you know, whereas ‘following’ is for people whom you don’t know, but whose work you are interested to follow.

Users found it confusing to have these two kinds of connection. They often weren’t sure what the difference was between contacts and following, and even if they were, they weren’t always sure whether they wanted to be contacts with someone, or to follow them, so the experience wasn’t ideal. We decided to to merge ‘contacts’ into ‘following’, so now all connections between users on Academia.edu are ‘following’ ones. Existing contact connections have been converted into following connections, where both users are following each other.

The social networking sites is to help you find people in your research area, profession or any other area of interest, and keep in touch with them via the News Feed. Hopefully this change makes the sites easier to use, and makes it easier for you to keep up with people in your research area.

—–Always Yours as Usual—-Saurabh

I Keep Thinking About:

“Why majority of social scientists often try to turn mathematicians, which they are not and neither it’s expected of them…Gentlemen you are expected to have Mastered humanities …society won’t take mathematical equations in exchange…equations will be taken as…adding salt to injury …if you do so…You are the one who destabilized the fine balance of Psycho-Socio-Economic elements of Humanity…we can hire a lot of Mathematics graduates…But Philosophers, Thinkers, Social Scientists are Rare Creations of Almighty…We are Searching them Pan Disciplines identified till Date.”

“Want to keep Yourself Updated about Saurabh’s Every move ! — Then Click The Google Button Just Below. It would do the Job, So Now You can Relax.”

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Finance in History

Dear Learned Audiences,

History is not just a forte of Kings, Emperors, Social Workers, Leaders and so on only. It keeps on silently recording the numerous developments happening in the various spheres of learning too. Sometimes, it may be in the form of thought other day it may be principles and following day may be for practices.

Finance in History

If you are doomed to repeat history, let’s hope you can pick your era. Once upon a time, business bankruptcies resulted in jail time (if you were lucky), treasurers defended their funds with a sword, and financial planning was tested by plagues and fire. Things improved during the American Revolution, when the father of our country also proved to be one of its best bookkeepers. But accounting couldn’t keep up during the Industrial Revolution, with disastrous consequences for workers. If you tend to think of history as the third quarter of the last fiscal year, it may be time to learn a little bit more about your profession’s checkered past.

The 17th-century business world revealed in Samuel Pepys’s famous diary is not so far removed from our own.

“Most happy in the keeping of all my accounts, for that after all the changings and turnings necessary in such an account, I find myself right to a farthing in an account of 127,000 pounds.” — Samuel Pepys’s diary entry, August 20, 1666

Public officials in 17th-century England had not yet refined the notion that one has to pay to play; that is, pony up political contributions to obtain government contracts or favors. But when Samuel Pepys was an important naval administrator in London during the mid-1660s, the basic idea was well understood. Like others similarly situated, Pepys gladly accepted gifts, and he recognized the debt he incurred in accepting them.

We know this from reading Pepys’s diary, regarded by many as the greatest in the English language. Between January 1, 1660, and May 31, 1669, Pepys (rhymes with “keeps”) chronicled his everyday life, from his professional concerns to his sexual escapades, from the state of the financial accounts he kept to the painful progress of his kidney stone. The practice of diary keeping began to catch on during the 17th century, according to Pepys biographer Claire Tomalin. But his is prized for its confessional insights, large cast of characters, accounts of significant events, and entertaining narrative, combining to reveal a singular sensibility.

“What is extraordinary is that he went into areas no one else considered recording, looked at himself with as much curiosity as he looked at the exterior world, weighing himself and the world equally in the balance,” observes Tomalin in Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (2002). Writing for his eyes only, Pepys used a private shorthand and, in especially delicate passages, French. His six-volume diary was only deciphered and published in the 1820s, more than 100 years after his death.

To historians, Pepys was an invaluable chronicler of a period when the press was censored by the government of Charles II. From him we have poignant accounts of the Great Plague, which decimated England in 1665, and of the Great Fire of London, which destroyed half the city in 1666. On a more personal scale, Pepys supplied entertaining accounts of his financial wheelings and dealings as a government administrator.

“The Diary sends a beam of light into the way in which government officers and businessmen worked together, through clubs, through hospitality, through trips that mixed business and pleasure, through well-chosen and discreetly given presents and through cultivating the friendship of those in a position to be helpful in giving contracts or licenses,” observes Tomalin. “The circumstances were different, but there is something eerily familiar about it too: today’s arms and building contracts, entertainment of clients, quiet words at the club, conferences in luxury hotels, boardroom rivalries and contributions to favourite charities are all in the same tradition. Pepys was, among other things, mapping a recognizably modern world.”

Accounting for the Royal Navy

As one learns from the diary, Pepys was ambitious, intelligent, and well connected. Born in 1633, he never became a sailor, but gained an accounting post in the British Navy and turned it to steady profit. Pepys had the good fortune to capitalize on his family’s one political connection: he was a distant cousin to Sir Edward Montagu, later the Earl of Sandwich. Oliver Cromwell put Montagu in joint command of the British fleet, and the 27-year-old Pepys sailed in on Montagu’s coattails. In 1660 Pepys was appointed Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board, and as such was responsible for requesting funds from Parliament and dispensing them to build the navy and keep it afloat.

Pepys advanced steadily during the next 13 years, eventually becoming Secretary of the Admiralty. Anyone who wanted a government contract to supply the Royal Navy had to go through his office. Shipbuilders, victuallers, slopsellers, and many others did their best to curry favor with the young finance minister.

On August 16, 1660, in the first year of his diary, Pepys recorded a telling conversation he had with Lord Sandwich. Riding across town in a coach, Sandwich told Pepys that he hopes the Clerk of the Acts position will be good to him, saying “it was not the salary of any place that did make a man rich, but the opportunity of getting money while he is in the place.”

Pepys took this advice to heart. Once sworn in as Clerk of the Acts, he almost immediately found himself on the receiving end of a steady stream of gifts, from barrels of oysters, wine, and brandy to gold coins and silver plate. In 17th-century London, merchants clearly considered these donations to be money well spent, just another cost of doing business.

On April 3, 1663, the diarist described a defense used by politicians to this day, which basically consists of sticking to an absurdly literal, and narrow, truth. After a certain Captain Grove gives him a letter that he can tell contains money, Pepys wrote: “But I did not open it till I came home to my office; and there I broke it open, not looking into it till all the money was out, that I might say I saw no money in the paper if ever I should be questioned about it.”

Another business associate gave him “a present for his wife,” a package said to contain a pair of gloves. On the evening of February 2, 1664, Pepys noted: “When I came home, Lord! in what pain I was to get my wife out of the room without bidding her go, that I might see what these gloves were; and by and by, she being gone, it proves a payre of white gloves for her and forty pieces in good gold, which did so cheer my heart that I could eat no victuals almost for dinner for joy to think how God do bless us every day more and more.”

Plague, Fire, and Fortune

Ironically, biographer Tomalin says the plague year of 1665 was one of Pepys’s happiest. During it his fortune quadrupled, thanks in part to two additional appointments: treasurer for Tangier and surveyor-general of victualling for the navy. Meanwhile, as his fortune grew, so did the plague. From June to September, deaths from the disease doubled nearly every week.

“But, Lord! to see how the plague spreads,” wrote Pepys on June 16. “It being now all over King’s Streete, at the Axe, and next door to it, and in other places.” At its height, in the last week of August 1665, the plague killed nearly 10,000 Londoners. “Thus this month ends with great sadness upon the publick, through the greatness of the plague every where through the kingdom almost,” wrote Pepys on August 31. “Every day sadder and sadder news of its encrease.”

The Great Fire of London, which began on September 2, 1666, and engulfed most of the central part of the city, helped quell the plague by killing the city’s disease-infected rats. As the fire raged toward his home, Pepys packed up his gold and silver and rode by cart in his nightshirt to a friend’s, safely outside the city. What he could not transport, he buried. Luck was on his side, however, and his neighborhood was spared.

As for the Lord of Sandwich, embezzlement was his downfall. While at war with the Dutch, Sandwich’s fleet captured several Dutch ships, including some loaded with goods from the East Indies. Instead of delivering these spoils of war to the King, Sandwich let the hatches be broken and divvied up the prizes with his fleet’s captains. His share’s worth came to 5,000 pounds. When news of this reached the King, Sandwich was stripped of his command. (He would later be reappointed and died in battle in 1672.)

Pepys’s assessment of the fall of “his Lord” is less forgiving. On December 31, 1665, he wrote: “The great evil of this year, and the only one indeed, is the fall of my Lord of Sandwich. The Duke of Albemarle goes with the Prince to sea this next year, and my Lord very meanly spoken of; and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him.”

Fearing for his eyesight, Pepys brought his diary to a close in 1669. He would later keep two other journals before his death in 1703, but Tomalin notes that they have “none of the qualities of the first Diary. Something essential was missing — some grit that had caused him to produce his pearl.” The luster of that pearl, and the qualities of the man, can be seen in the entry for Christmas day, December 25, 1666:

“To church in the morning, and there saw a wedding in the church, which I have not seen many a day; and the young people so merry one with another, and strange to see what delight we married people have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition, every man and woman gazing and smiling at them. Here I saw again my beauty Lethulier. Thence to my Lord Bruncker’s by invitation and dined there, and so home to look over and settle my papers, both of my accounts private, and those of Tangier, which I have let go so long that it were impossible for any soul, had I died, to understand them, or ever come to any good end in them. I hope God will never suffer me to come to that disorder again.”

Observations from Samuel Pepys’s Diary On dog days:

“By coach to St. James’s and there did our business, which is mostly every day to complain of want of money.” (July 13, 1666)

On hard work: “How little merit do prevail in the world, but only favour; and for myself, chance without merit brought me in; and diligence only keeps me so, and will, living as I do among so many lazy people that the diligent man becomes necessary, that they cannot do anything without him.” (November 1, 1665)

On success: “But, Lord! to see what successe do, whether with or without reason, and making a man seem wise notwithstanding never so late demonstration of the profoundest folly in the world.” (August 15, 1666)

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