What started as a marginal gap between actual operating profit and the one reflected in the books of accounts continued to grow over the years… Every attempt made to fill the gap failed. As the promoters hold a small percentage of equity, the concern was that poor performance would result in a take-over, thereby exposing the gap. It was like riding tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten.
When I read this I was reminded of the description of a meeting between ex-Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi and a spiritual leader Jiddu Krishnamurti day before Indira Gandhi took off the emergency. The meeting is described in a biography: Indira Gandhi: A biography by Pupul Jaykar where Indira Gandhi describes the state of her mind:
I am riding on the back of a tiger…I do not mind the tiger killing me, but I do not know how to get off its back