I am immensely grateful for the support of all journalists but I’m especially gratified by the support and encouragement of those in my hometown of Chicago.
It’s a curious thing that I have never been quoted in the Sun Times or Crain’s Chicago Business, and only once in the Chicago Tribune. The accounting industry is immensely important to the Chicago metropolitan area – jobs, charitable support, civic pride, and tax revenue. Maybe that’s why local media goes out of its way to tell the public relations version of what the audit firms are up to and don’t report on the underbelly – litigation, client failures, layoffs, and potential complicity on public corruption.
So it is with great pride that I thank Chicago Magazine – now owned by the Chicago Tribune – and Whet Moser Associate Digital Editor and a contributor to the magazine’s staff blog, The 312, for a recent mention.
Whet, like a lot of other intelligent folks, was baffled by the use of the word “vaporized” by the Wall Street Journal to try and explain what happened to the missing MF Global customer $1.6 billion – give or take a few hundred million.
Please go and read the rest of the story there.
One of the weirder headlines of our postmodern financial era came in the wake of MF Global’s collapse: the money “vaporized.” What, exactly, happens when money vaporizes? Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun? Or does it explode? Water is often used as a metaphor for money—it flows, pools, and dams up. Maybe it can turn into vapor, too!
Local financial journalist Francine McKenna, who runs the invaluable Re: The Auditors and who also writes for Forbes and American Banker, recently discussed this question on the Kaiser Report. She’s a former accountant, so some of the things she’s talking about are fairly arcane, at least for a layman. But I was comforted by the fact that her interviewer, a Wall Street vet, seemed just as perplexed as me, not to mention the rest of the world.