I asked Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center what I can say when people ask me what to do about their foreclosure or mortgage modification nightmare.
The day my OpEd in the Financial Times was published, July 30, there were many other stories in other publications marking the occasion of Sarbanes-Oxley’s tenth anniversary. Most of them focused on the lack of prosecutions of CEOs and CFOs for false financial statement certification crimes.
It’s difficult for me to imagine a new generation of systemically important financial services company CEOs without strong risk management experience. But the newly prominent role also gives shareholders, regulators, and the media an easy target for ridicule after a corporate stumble or failure.
Warren Buffett’s investment in Bank of America was big news yesterday and it still reverberating. Forget the “Buffett effect.” I am now enjoying the “front page of Forbes.com” effect. Within an hour of posting it yesterday the story had over 3,000 page views. It is now my number one highest traffic post for my column there.
Sarbanes-Oxley was supposed to end financial scandals once and for all. Will Dodd-Frank succeed where it failed? My OpEd for Boston Review is online today, Monday, August 22, 2011.
Have you been following the trials and tribulations of Bank of America and their auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP?
John Carney at CNBC NetNet is talking a lot about repurchase risk. He’s tied it all together in a bow for us, mentions Citigroup and Bank of America, and has given me credit for having been on KPMG’s case for a while.
The global money center banks are masters at managing financial reporting. Regulators repeatedly feign surprise at balance sheet sleight of hand, prestidigitation at the expert level intended to buy time until the banks can grow out of the black hole that bubble lending put them in. They announce their quarterly results, with all the details – they don’t even try to hide them anymore – and they’re ignored or the con is traded on for short term profits. We’ve yet to see the auditors called to testify to explain their role in blessing fraudulent bank balance sheet accounting.
Isn’t it about time?
When each of the notorious “financial crisis” institutions collapsed, were bailed out/nationalized by their governments or were acquired/rescued by “healthier” institutions, they were all carrying in their wallets non-qualified, clean opinions on their financial statements from their auditors.