We now know more about what the firms have been hiding. The global capital markets, not just current shareholders, need full disclosure of the engagement teams on all public issuers over time, and in a way that is easily accessible.
Are auditors too cozy with management and the Audit Committee? Unfortunately, that the way they all seem to like it. Investors and the capital markets suffer.
Deloitte has been caught thumbing its nose at regulators again. Deloitte is the best example in the Big Four of how a large consulting business corrupts an audit firm.
Last defendant standing. Not an enviable place for EY in the case, In re Lehman Brothers Securities and Erisa Litigation. Holding out until the end has now cost EY $99 million, more than Lehman officers and directors.
On September 11 Bill Ackman went beyond his ongoing accusation that Herbalife is pyramid scheme and sent a 52-page letter to PwC warning the firm it is exposed to enormous liability if it signs off on Herbalife audit opinions and Qs without a full investigation of several accounting, tax and bribery allegations. Ackman used my work to bolster his case to PwC.
Ratings agencies and Big Four auditors don’t think they should be held accountable for their respective products. Here are some of the crazy ways they argue their case.
Don’t get too excited. The same sticky issues come up every time, get tossed around and then get dropped until the next scandal or crisis provides an impetus for a discussion again.
The PCAOB’s second “progress” report on broker-dealer audits found deficiencies in all of the audit firms inspected and in 57 of the 60 audits inspected. That’s not much progress.
Pete Brush at Law.com did a story last week about a story about in pari delicto, the adverse interest exception, and holding third-parties like auditors liable for fraud in bankruptcy cases. I was quoted.
Unfortunately, regulatory supervision of investment advisors, broker-dealers, and their auditors leaves a lot to be desired. PwC missed years of illegal activity at S.A.C. Capital Advisors. If only we could say that’s the first time.
It’s important for the integrity of the capital markets to assign individual responsibility for audit failures. We need to see the key partners’ names and their career histories because recidivist partners are hiding behind the firms which are very good at dodging general liability.
Taxpayers are getting killed. I think municipal bondholders are next.