The Case Against Ernst & Young: NY AG Cuomo Sues Over Lehman

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued Ernst & Young over their involvement in the Lehman failure. EY was Lehman’s long time auditors and the firm is accused of “permitting Lehman to engage in an accounting fraud.” Hold on tight. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Will Ernst & Young Ever Be Held Accountable for the Lehman Failure?

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.

Can I Have Your Autograph: Signing The Audit Report

When the PCAOB issued a Concept Release in late 2009 on requiring the engagement partner to sign the audit report boy oh boy were there a lot of comments. The firms came out en masse to denounce the proposal.

The End of Lehman, Part 3: Repo 105 and the Legacy of Lehman

Financial Reform Watch blogger Ben Hallman looks at how Lehman Brothers was a leader in disguising its losses—and how a government investigation into Lehman’s practices could offer federal authorities their best, and possibly last, chance to hold individuals responsible for the crisis personally accountable.

Watch Banks Pull Rabbits Out of Hats, Ably Assisted by Their Auditors

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?

Not To Be Twistin’ Hay… Auditors Mucking It Up In Ireland

“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.

re: The Auditors Mentioned In The Columbia Journalism Review

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 […]

Fraud Happened: The No-Account Accountants Stood By

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.”

For The Auditors Nothing’s Over Until It’s Over: Or Is It?

The leadership of the Big 4 audit firms – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers – are scared witless.

In Pari Delicto: Are Auditors Equally At Fault In The Big Fraud Cases?

The way I see it, the in pari delicto doctrine is being used like a pair of needle nosed pliers by audit firm defense lawyers to diffuse the bomb – huge liability for some of the biggest frauds in history. The in pari delicto doctrine attempts to pull the auditors’ tails from the fire by excusing any of their guilty acts due to the approval of those acts by potentially equally guilty executives.

They Weren’t There: Auditors And The Financial Crisis

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.

Leadership: A Guest Post from Tenacious Truman

Leadership: One Man’s Perspective by Tenacious Truman
At re: The Auditors we spend a lot of time talking about leadership—mostly the lack of it. We bemoan the “auditor” mentality, the substitution of management for leadership, and the lack of accountability.