Monday, September 28, 2009

CPAs Again

"The accountants let us down. ... We now know the major banks were hiding dubious assets off their balance sheets and stretching rules if not breaking them. We know that their capital was woefully inadequate for the risks they were taking. ... But banks have pursuaded politicians on both sides of the Atlantic that the real problem came not when their financial inadequacies were obscured by bad accounting, but when they were revealed as the losses mounted. ... Behind the scenes, there is a battle pitting securities regulators--who instinctively favor disclosure--against banking regulators, who fear there are times when disclosure could make a bad situation worse. ... Some of the biggest and worst surprises of the financial crisis came when banks suffered large losses from assets that they had not even reported they owned. 'with the benefit of hindsight, we know that standards were not complied with,' said [Robert] Herz, regarding the rules on which assets could be left off balance sheets", Floyd Norris at the NYT, 11 September 2009, link:

Really Hertz? Will you name names? Will any controllers and CFOs of the largest banks in the US be indicted for securities fraud? What about their CPA firms? I bet all large banks are audited by Big 87654 firms. Will the PCAOB do anything to them? This is just more of the continuing Wall Street-Washington charade.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Howdy ho.

Rating agencies are getting flayed which they deserve but there hasn't been peep about the number crunchers.

The accounting profession has failed this country. And the cost to the people is substantial.

I think if any CFO bleeted he would be run off.

Oh... and the PCOAB... are they doing anything? Lovely little board... lalala...

Don't rock the boat... just hope everything holds together until you retire.

The CPAs are holding their breath.