Posts

Inside The Mind of An Inside Trader

The SEC has accused one of the most prominent businessmen ever implicated in such crimes, Rajat Gupta, a former McKinsey & Company Global Managing Director, of insider trading. It’s understandable that, in the heat of this moment, some might naïvely compare the consequences of the criminal indictment of an audit firm with civil charges against an individual, albeit one who trades on – pun intended – his association with a prestigious professional services firm. It’s not the same thing.

Update: Auditors and Consulting: Claims Of No Conflict Strain Credibility

Big 4 audit firms are focusing on growth in their global consulting businesses but the conflicts that drove three out of four of the firms in the US to sell them after Enron are a bigger problem than ever before.

2011 Loeb Award Application: Blogging

I thought some readers may find it interesting to see the applications I submitted for this years’ Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. The award is sponsored by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Last year I was a finalist in the Blogging and Online Commentary Category. They’ve rearranged and added categories this year and so […]

Still No Accountability: An Update On The Goldman Sachs Facebook Deal

This week the Goldman Sachs Facebook deal fell apart. Sort of. Due to the extensive media coverage of the details, in particular before they were final, Goldman Sachs was running some really big regulatory risks related to general solicitation of potential shareholders. Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote about the deal on January 4th. Read the rest in my column on Forbes, Accounting Watchdog.

Goldman Sachs’ Senate Testimony: Did CFO Viniar Screw Their Pooch?

This article was originally posted on Going Concern.com on April 29, 2010. I watched all 11 hours yesterday of the Goldman Sachs testimony to the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations. I never expected anyone to mention the auditors and I was not disappointed. You may think, given my criticism of the auditors, that I would […]

Deloitte, Delphi, and GM: Duped or Duplicitous?

It’s as wicked as it seems…
What the SEC is doing at Delphi is quite expedient. When the SEC wants to bring civil charges for fraud against Delphi executives, the story is that the auditor was duped. And they got the auditor who was sanctioned for not performing the audit with due professional care to testify to that.

Damn The Conflicts: Arthur Levitt Still Won’t Shut Up

Arthur Levitt Jr. wrote a recent Op-Ed piece for the New York Times defending “high frequency trading.” As you can see, the conflicts for Mr. Levitt, especially now that he is also advising Goldman Sachs (also a PwC client) and Getco, are numerous.

Mr. Levitt is 78 years old. Isn’t it time for him (and Paul Volcker) to go fishing? Why don’t the numerous media outlets he works/writes for insist that he disclose his conflicts?

Live From The Capital Markets Summit

The summit started a little slowly. One panel included Steve Bartlett of Financial Services Roundtable. He rattled off several proposed reforms they are putting on the table for legislative action. Then they didn’t allow questions from the audience in order to stay on schedule. One proposed reform is to allow the audit firms to raise […]

Oh! How The Mighty Have Fallen – Update On Auditors And Their Banking Clients

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 […]