Timing is everything.
Today is a federal holiday in the United States – banks, post offices and federal and city offices are closed.
“Fortis’s accounts were jointly audited by KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers – two of the big four practices. They have received audit fees running into tens of millions. But they seemingly failed to give investors an indication that Fortis was heading for severe problems…”
Murphy rightly reminds us that, “KPMG et al say they audited within the rules, i.e. they confirmed ‘market value’, but what they do not say is they set the rules, and they were also responsible for suspending the previous rule that required a ‘true and fair over-ride’ meaning that the auditor had to do more than follow the rules.”
“As I have said before, if there is no market for an asset then it has no value although it is possible to impute values that are conservative. It is therefore good to see PwC standing up on this one…”
So here’s message from academia to the regulators, politicians, think-tank leaders and the large firm managements alike – all sitting there, heads down in denial, confusion or resistance:
There is a lot of hard but rewarding work that has to be done to avert a catastrophe. Is anybody listening?
Why do I highlight the “conservative” side of some firms and some leaders of the firms? For the same reason I highlight the self-serving, selfish and transparently manipulative activity of contributing to whatever politician holds the right Committee seat, regardless of party, just because you may perhaps be able to buy their influence.
The blog is meant to highlight, for you the reader, the broad-based influence the Big 4 have in business, politics and social policy. Their reach is only exceeded by their constant grasp. In that sense, I critique, highlight and often times criticize each equally, although unevenly, depending on how the news cookie crumbles. I also try to highlight the firms’ biases equally, but I won’t apologize for the fact that I find those biases falling more often on the political, economic and socially conservative side, except for their window dressing in the areas of equal opportunity and diversity. The actions of the firms with regard to equal opportunity and diversity speak louder than all the words and videos and other public relations events.
And I won’t apologize for my biases when they show. I am still my parents’ daughter, with all the attendant attitudes, baggage and early life experiences that brings, no matter where the world or my chosen career have taken me since.
It’s my blog and I’ll write whatever I want to.