Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The AICPA Finally Earns Its Money

"This time, the auditors don't seem to be backing down. ... In recent weeks, the accounting firms, operating through an industry group, have taken views at odds with at least some of their clients about the use of market prices for hard-to-trade securities and how banks should deal with their exposure to losses in off-balance-sheet lending vehicles. ... [The move] also prompted, at least in part, moves by the Treasury Department to bail out structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, which are special lending vehicles that banks keep off their books. .. Joseph Carcello ... of the University of Tennessee [asked] 'Why was this not guidance from the SEC staff'?'", David Reilly, in the WSJ, 17 October.

Why hasn't the SEC already said that any bank which puts assets into the pool, or whatever it will be called, at other than market prices, will immediately be investigated for securities fraud? Is our, yes our, not Wall Street's, Hank Paulson (HP) attempting to aid and abet securities fraud? Is that what HP is doing? Where's the Justice Department? Is it too busy prosecuting nickel and dime marijuana possession cases? If anyone doubts why investors need Stoneridge to go in their favor, look at this mess and Uncle Sam's position as articulated by HP.

Noriel Roubini (NR), a New York University Economics Professor, has the best analysis of the proposed SIV rescue plan I've seen yet, "Super-Conduit or Super-Bailout Shell Game"?, 15 October, at I commend NR. I couldn't have written anything better.

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