@Forbes: Wikileaks and Banks, Federal GAAP – A Deloitte Tale

My Forbes column appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Go here to read, Accounting Watchdog.

Columns for the week ending December 3, 2010:

Timing is everything.  I saw tons of Twitter chatter about the latest Wikileaks threat to banks on Monday night. My first thought was to wager someone, anyone, which one it would be.  This post wrote itself in two hours for Forbes on Tuesday morning.

Result:  Featured on the Forbes front page and headline banner, almost 8,000 page views and counting, and a link to the post by Colin Barr at the end of his Fortune online column.

My answer: Citigroup (as opposed to the groupthink bet of Bank of America based on a year old interview with Assange someone dug up.)

Read the article at Forbes to see my logic.

Nov. 30 2010 – 11:07 am | 7,800 views | 1 recommendation | 11 comments

Which Bank Should Feel Threatened By Assange and Wikileaks?

It’s one thing for chatterbox Julian Assange to Wikileak secret documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what US diplomats really think of counterparts abroad. Notwithstanding sentimental and self-serving comparisons to publication of the Pentagon Papers, leaking details about wars and state secrets can be a life or death situation.

Not so literally deadly, at least as far as we know, is Assange’s latest threat – plans to leak a major US bank’s “state secrets.”


So which US bank is the most vulnerable?

Assange has given us some clues.  He uses the word “bank”.  That, to me, counts out the typical love-to-hates like Goldman Sachs.  He likes to operate on a global stage, so I’d forget about strictly locals like Wells Fargo. Some banks are notorious bad boys comfortable in dark corners, mixing corporate lending with trading and shadow banking to governments – the good and the bad. It would be a real kick if Assange shows compelling connections between prior data dumps and the next one.

That’s why I’m betting on Citigroup.

It was a busy week for journalists.  First, Assange dumps a bunch of diplomatic cables on them and threatens a bank will be embarrassed next.  Then, the Federal Reserve Bank finally gives in and posts millions of terabytes of data about who got how much in bailouts, loans, support, and charity during the crisis.

Unfortunately, either everyone is sick of being dumped on, no one liked my choice of photos in the post, or using the word GAAP in the title was an SEO no-no but this one is floundering traffic-wise.

Let the Excel jockeys create macro rich interactive spreadsheets slicing and dicing the results.  I went looking for the Deloitte story.  After all, they do audit the Fed.  This is what I found.

Dec. 2 2010 — 10:36 am | 96 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

The Fed’s Full Disclosure: Don’t Forget About Government GAAP

What do Ben Bernanke and Julian Assange have in common besides that sexy “come hither” look?

Both dumped massive data troves this week, keeping reporters very busy analyzing, dissecting, and writing something.


While Julian Assange’s capricious cable disclosures occupied primarily political junkies – until his teaser about a bank being next – Bernanke gave financial nerds lots of data to diddle with

Read the rest here.

Photo credits:

The Sydney Morning Herald, The Secret Life of Julian Assange

http://interwatches.wordpress.com, Ben Bernanke: TIME Magazine’s Man of the Year Nomination

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Francine McKenna, Vonya Global. Vonya Global said: Always like the added snark! RT @retheauditors: A summary on my site of my posts @Forbes – some added snark. Wikileaks http://bit.ly/fCYuLT […]

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