Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Bloodless Coup Continues-3

"Within Citi, many employees--highly aware that Rubin was a risk wizard at both Goldman Sachs [GS] and the Treasury--are angry at what he didn't do to avoid both this disaster and earlier write-downs that Citi reported. ... Meanwhile you might think the existence of the put would make it impossible for Citi to get those CDOs entirely off its balance sheet. But in fact Citi found a complex accounting rationale for doing exactly that, and the CDOs jumped entirely to somebody else's balance sheet. ... But remarkably, Nov. 5 was the first time that Citi mentioned liquidity puts to the world. CFO Crittenden says the need to make disclosures about the puts did not arise until the last part of October, because until then the super-senior status of the put-laden securities made it appear they would largely hold their value", Carol Loomis in Fortune, 26 November.

What does "risk wizard" mean? Is he like "Tommy's"pinball wizard, the "deaf, dumb and blind kid who sure plays a mean pinball"? The "accounting rationale" likely will be SFAS 5 about contingencies. I say crap, crap, CRAP and CRAP! As a senior accountant said to me when I was a junior at Big Eight, "that's a creatively revised accounting principle".

Citi can make a good faith case for not recording the SIVs on its balance sheet under SFAS 5; I see no basis not to disclose the contingent liability. KPMG should be put--sorry about that--out of business for this. Hey, KPMG New York (NY), my SFAS 5 copy includes paragraph 4 which lists guarantees, standby letters of credit and agreements to repurchase receivables as loss contingencies. I got it now. No one in KPMG NY has a complete copy of SFAS 5. Amazing.

Where's PCAOB? Did it start investigating KPMG's Citigroup audit? If not, why not? Is it too busy beating up miniscule CPA firms? What is very juicy in the 5 November disclosure is that our buddy, Hank Paulson suggested MLEC on 12 October, 24 days before Citigroup's public disclosure. Think about that. Where are the indictments? Where's the SEC?

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