Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Panzner & Smith on Freddie & Fannie

Michael Panzner pats Yves Smith on the back at his Financial Armageddon, 6 September 2008, for her comments on Fannie & Freddie (F&F) Here's a link:

Jesse at Jesse's Cafe Americain, 7 September 2008, translates Henry Paulson's "newspeak" into English at Thank you Jessee.

Francine McKenna has some choice words about F&F at her Re: The Auditors, 8 September 2008. Here's a link:

"The government's planned takeover of [F&F], ... came together after advisers pouring over the companies' books for the Treasury Department concluded that Freddie's accounting methods had overstated its capital cushion, according to regulatory officials briefed on the matter. ... Then, last week, advisers from Morgan Stanley hired by the Treasury Department to scrutinize the companies came to a troubling conclusion: Freddie Mac's capital postion was worse than initially imagined, according to people briefed on those findings. The company had made decisions that, while not necessarily in violation of accounting rules, had the effect of overstating the companies' capital resources and financial stability", my emphasis, Gretchen Morgenstern and Charles Duhigg at the NYT, 7 September 1008.

I'll add a few things. According to each's proxy statement, Fannie, Freddie and Morgan Stanley (MS) paid Deloitte & Touche (D&T), PriceWaterhouse (PW) and D&T: $49, $73 and $47 million in audit fees last year. Amazing. What did D&T and PW do for that money, assuming MS is correct and F&F still have accounting problems? What does the SEC do? What do those useless idiots, pardon me, upstanding public servants at the PCAOB do? How can this continue? Hey Mark Olson (MO), why don't you beat up ten 97-pound weakling CPA firms to show us how macho your PCAOB is? Do you push 80-year old, 5' 2" 110-pound ladies to the ground when you're feeling "bad" MO? Yeah, you MO. Try that with Sara Palin and see what happens. She'll probably fill you with lead. Will MS fire D&T for failing to detect accounting problems at FNM? Or will MS recommend FNM keep D&T as D&T's "failure to find the problems" shows D&T will "play ball" when told? Stay tuned for the continuing soap opera.

Jesse has a strong stomach. Even I don't have the guts to read Henry "formerly of Goldman Sachs" Paulson's statement.

This is interesting. Why did Henry Paulson need MS to "scrutinize" anything? What did FRE pay PW $73 million for last year? Will MS suggest PW be banned from auditing financial institutions? "Not necessarily"? What does that mean? Will MS now lobby to close this accounting loophole assuming MS is correct? Stay tuned for the next installment of: "As the Big Shots Obfuscate".

This is too good. Bravo Francine! Way to go girl, you even kicked the PCAOB in the shins! Thanks.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

"Jesse has a strong stomach. Even I don't have the guts to read Henry "formerly of Goldman Sachs" Paulson's statement."

Strong stomach, fortified by a good slug of rye whiskey.

I cannot bear to listen to him on the television for some reason. His voice and style of speech makes me nauseous.