Posts

Zynga And Facebook: A Dangerously Close Relationship

Zynga is practically a wholly owned subsidiary of Facebook. At some point I think it will be, probably to actualize an online real-money gaming strategy.

Four Years After Madoff, Audits and Auditors of Broker-Dealers Still Lousy

How much lower does investor confidence have to go? How many more billions do customers have to lose before someone steps up?

Ding Dong: Dan Ustian Out At Navistar

Crain’s Chicago Business reported yesterday that Dan Ustian, Chairman, CEO, and President of Navistar was unceremoniously dumped and has also left the board. It’s about time.

Barclays Libor Scandal; More Client Headaches for PwC

I’ve put a new column up at Forbes this morning, “Barclays Manipulates Libor While Auditor PwC Snoozes.”

The Barclays Libor manipulation scandal is a big deal and we haven’t yet seen the full impact here in the U.S. The Chairman of the bank resigned officially this morning and the interim Chairman is none other than our old friend Sir Mike Rake, former Global Chairman of KPMG.

Big Four Auditors and Jury Trials: Not In The U.S.

You have to go outside of the US to see a trial of a Big Four audit firm to know what I’m talking about. Australia’s Centro case against PwC or Canada’s Nortel case where Deloitte partners testified recently tell you everything you need to know about why the Big Four will settle every time. Rather than have a jury and the public hear and see the pathetic state of the audit profession, its inability to stop executives who want to cheat, and its unwillingness to acknowledge liability as a firm when it screws up, the firms will reach into their seemingly bottomless pockets and pay up.

Not Much Illumination: JP Morgan, MF Global & Man in the Middle, Jamie Dimon

What I wrote this week about the MF Global trustee’s “investigation report”, JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and his testimony on the “whale” trade for the US Senate, and the lure of London. Those topics and so much more…

PCAOB Solicits Input On Auditor Independence and Auditor Rotation Concept Release – Day 2

For two days this week the audit regulator, the PCAOB, solicited feedback from investors, audit committee members, professional groups like the IIA, former regulators, academics and business leaders on improving auditor independence, professional skepticism, and audit quality.

At Deloitte, More Pain Before Any Quality Gain

re: The Auditors has seen a confidential, internal Deloitte training document, prepared this past summer, that reveals the firm expects the worst when the inspection reports for their 2009, 2010, and 2011 audits are published by the PCAOB. Is Deloitte truly committed to a sea change in tone as well as technique? I’m not convinced.

PCAOB Disclosure Of Deloitte Private Report: A Regulatory Inflection Point?

My American Banker column on Tuesday focused on the risks to banks, their audit committees, and shareholders of an auditor who blows off its regulator. Deloitte’s ongoing conflict with the PCAOB poses the risk of undue scrutiny by other regulators and unwanted publicity to all its clients.

Ernst & Young and Lehman Brothers: A Summary of Quotes, Stories and Links

The release of Anton Valukas’ Lehman Bankruptcy Examiner’s Report on March 11, 2010 threw a fresh match on the still smoldering remains of the 2008 failure. The mainstream media, regulators, legislators and the business community had blamed everything but fraud for the financial crisis and everyone but the audit firms for preventing, warning or mitigating the devastating impact of the crisis.If you’ve been reading the stories on this site, however, you may have come to the conclusion that I did a long time ago:

There was widespread fraud at the highest levels and the Big 4 auditors will eventually be accused of malpractice and complicity for doing nothing to prevent it , to warn us, or mitigate the impact on stakeholders

A Case of Regulatory Capture: And Why The SEC Won’t Push Deloitte To The Limit

The post below was originally published at Forbes.com on August 22, 2011. Given the SEC’s recent actions against Deloitte Shanghai regarding the firm’s unwillingness to provide audit workpapers for their former client Longtop, I thought it was helpful to make sure you saw it.