I’d be exaggerating if I told you the Lehman bankruptcy examiner’s report, and its scathing indictment of Ernst & Young’s role in the biggest failure on Wall Street, answered my prayers. On the contrary. The more successful a fraud case is against Lehman’s executives, the less likely EY or any of its partners will suffer any consequences for their role in the Lehman fraud.
What really happened at Lehman? The thousands of column inches devoted to trenchant, complex analysis from financial media pundits is a bit more mental masturbation than we need.
“The regulator said auditing firms needed to pay “particular attention” to guidance that it had previously issued on monitoring transactions taking place around year-end, as well as the procedures expected to be followed by auditors…” If that sounds like Lehman Brothers, it’s because the kinds of tricks and techniques used there, such as Repo 105, are neither new nor unique.
It’s been my great pleasure to get to know Ryan Chittum, the reporter for the Columbia Journalism Review’s (CJR) The Audit, a blog devoted to the critical look at business journalism. Ryan and I have not yet met in person, but The Audit is a daily must read. I did have the opportunity to meet […]
The financial crisis is now about fraud. The word that dared not be uttered, even behind closed doors, has now disturbed the peace of a nascent “recovery.”
When I ask, “Where were the auditors?” and decry the fact that “they weren’t there,” it’s not due to some unreasonable, unfair focus on the most milquetoast of potential culprits. I bang this drum because the auditors should have been there, as a last stop, where the buck should have stopped, as gatekeepers, watchdogs, advocates, and the last bastion of standards and expected values shareholders can look to.
But they weren’t.
In preparation for something else, I attempted to do a quick summary of the pending litigation against the Big 4.
It’s not easy.
Picture Source My Twitter communiques (follow me!) reported my pleasure at the invitation to a private dinner Monday night with a delegation from the European Parliament. I accepted it immediately, when it arrived, not knowing how or why it had. But a luxe dinner with smart people, especially foreign visitors, is always my cup of […]
Picture Source Back in November, I wrote about the imperial bankers and the impending doom and gloom that permeated the market. I warned that the CEOs and their Big 4 buddies should be nervous, too. The Big 4 are now inextricably tied to their clients’ fortunes. Lawsuits are flying fast and furious as soon […]