I’ve been quoted today in a stellar piece by Paul Barrett on Anton Valukas. Paul is an Assistant Managing Editor at Business Week. Valukas is the Lehman Bankruptcy Examiner, a Chicago guy, and Managing Partner of law firm Jenner & Block.
What Valukas brought to the endeavor was a no-nonsense lack of deference toward Wall Street game playing, says Francine McKenna, a former director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “That’s a Chicago thing,” adds McKenna, herself a resident of the city. She now runs an investigative Web site called Re: The Auditors. “The mindset is: I’ve been around the block, I know how the game is played, and I’m not impressed by fancy names,” she says.
Barrett does a great job of putting the Lehman Report in the context of other bankruptcy examiner reports that have added significant actionable knowledge to high profile fraud cases such as Refco and New Century.
The piece also highlights the idea of a Foreign Service model—with its specialized training; attractive pension eligibility after as little as 20 years on the job; and long-term career tracks, allowing for variety and new challenges—for financial regulators.
That sounds something like my suggestion in January of 2009 for a National Service Corp for Accountability and Transparency – a way to put all of the currently in-transition accounting, audit and forensic specialists to work for the government. Maybe we can even move most of them out of conflicted audit firms and into public service to monitor taxpayer owned entities such as AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Read the rest of the piece, Lessons from the Lehman Autopsy, here.