Blog Profile / Accounting Watchdog

Filed Under:Business & Finance
Posts on Regator:134
Posts / Week:0.4
Archived Since:February 24, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Time Is Running Short For The New York Times

The New York Times will announce its third quarter earnings on October 30. It’s make or break time. On October 1 President and CEO Mark Thompson said 100 plus staff cuts would “safeguard the long-term profitability of The Times,” and were not the result of any short-term business difficulties. The Times seems more confident chopping [...]

CEOs Who Fudge Numbers Love Luxury And, Sometimes, Breaking The Law

This article originally appeared on the Capital Ideas blog, published by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It is reposted here with permission. Another big CEO payday is in the news. Gaming company Zynga will pay lots of dollars to attract well-known Microsoft executive Don Mattrick to its flailing company. Zynga’s stock is [...]

House Counts On Honor Amongst Thieves: Votes Against Mandatory Auditor Rotation

There’s honor amongst thieves. That’s what the House of Representatives must believe to favor the castration of a regulator, to prevent in this case the PCAOB, the audit industry regulator, from doing the job Congress gave it ten years ago. Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives voted 321-62 for the H.R. 1564, the Audit Integrity [...]

ResCap/Ally Will Settle With Fed Over Foreclosure Reviews

Bankrupt mortgage originator and servicer Residential Capital, LLC, or ResCap, and its subsidiary GMAC Mortgage, filed a term sheet with the court on June 26 to establish a $230 million escrow account to fund its settlement the Federal Reserve  and put a stop to its expensive FRB Foreclosure Review., ResCap’s “independent” foreclosure reviewer, has stopped [...]

Another Conflicted Foreclosure Review: PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ally/ResCap

One of the fundamental tenets of the “independent” foreclosure reviews of mortgage servicers ordered by the OCC and Federal Reserve Board was the independence and objectivity of the consultants. The ICs for the IFRs were supposed to determine how much harm had been inflicted on borrowers subjected to error-ridden and, in some cases, fraudulent foreclosures. [...]

Deloitte By Any Name Won’t Be Monitoring NY Banks For A While

When the Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, said he was going to hammer on a banking consultant, many thought the nail might be ultra-connected Gene Ludwig’s Promontory Financial Services. After all, it was Promontory that pooh-poohed the bad conduct at Standard Chartered, estimating it at mere millions instead [...]

Where Should SEC Start A Fraud Crack Down? Maybe Look At Fake Restatements

It’s so good to hear that the Securities and Exchange Commission plans to refocus its enforcement efforts on accounting fraud. It would be even better for investors if the regulator used all the information already available – no need to resort to fancy computer algorithms – to prosecute accounting frauds and the executives, directors and [...]

PwC Partner At MF Global Has Long, And Mixed, Track Record

When the PCAOB, the audit industry regulator, says investors should know the career histories of the partners who lead public company audits, believe it. The career history of the MF Global lead audit partner, PricewaterhouseCooper’s Linda McGowan, sheds considerable light on why she, and her team, might have missed poor controls over risky sovereign debt [...]

The Madoff Of Munis

The tale of Rita Crundwell, quarter horse owner and embezzler extraordinaire, should worry bond investors. Taxpayers have already felt the pain.

James Comey and KPMG: Isn’t It Ironic

Washington DC is a small world and James Comey, President Obama’s nominee to take over the FBI, circulates easily in it. But I doubt he knew he was getting this FBI gig when he took a board seat at HSBC in January. How could he? Why would he? Comey joined HSBC’s newly formed Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee, after [...]

Herbalife Gets A New Auditor: The SEC Passes On PwC’s Conflicts

Herbalife, unwitting victim of KPMG partner Scott London’s inside trader scheme, replaced its former auditor yesterday with PwC. KPMG resigned the Herbalife and Skechers audit engagements after regulators told the firm London had betrayed the trust of those two clients and three others he was responsible for by tipping off a buddy who traded on [...]

Ernst & Young Seizes Tax Transparency Issue But Advocacy May Break SEC Rules

You can't blame global accounting firm Ernst & Young for seizing a big business opportunity. Tax transparency reporting is coming, whether multinationals like it or not, and Ernst & Young is ready to help.

Buffett’s Gentle Ribbing About Swiss Re Dispute More Like Fibbing

9:27 am SwissRe settlement by David Benoit  Buffett says the company settled a “disagreement” with SwissRe and both sides marked big gains on the settlement. He promises, with tongue firmly planted in his cheek, to get into more of these disagreements if they help both sides so well. Wall Street Journal Live Blog: Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual [...]

Las Vegas Sands Can Now Hire A Chinese Auditor

The Las Vegas, Nevada office of PricewaterhouseCoopers resigned April 23 as auditor of casino company Las Vegas Sands, according to an SEC filing. PwC has been signing the opinion for Las Vegas Sands since its IPO in 2004. A Wall Street Journal anonymous source says “the legal and regulatory scrutiny of Las Vegas Sands was “the overriding issue” [...]

KPMG’s Inside Trader: What The Auditor, and Skechers, Don’t Want To Talk About

Much has been written about Scott London, the KPMG partner in charge of the firm’s southern California audit practice, and his illegal and career-limiting-move of passing inside information to a jeweler buddy. KPMG may be sorry, at this point, for starting the ball rolling April 8 with its press release. Deloitte hid Vice Chairman Flanagan’s [...]

KPMG Statement On Scott London Criminal and Civil Charges

I asked KPMG spokesman Seth Oster for a statement on KPMG’s next steps and further investigation given the more extensive charges leveled against Scott London by the Department of Justice and the SEC.  I received this statement this evening. (Emphasis mine.) STATEMENT FROM KPMG CHAIRMAN & CEO JOHN VEIHMEYER   KPMG LLP Chairman and CEO [...]

Another “Rogue” Audit Partner; Another “Duped” Audit Firm

There are things you anticipate, worry about, know will be troublesome once they happen. It’s safe to say global audit firm KPMG wasn’t worrying it would someday hear the leader of its  audit practice was passing confidential client information to someone else who then traded on it. KPMG announced late Monday via press release that [...]

GAO Blames Regulators For Faulty Foreclosure Reviews But That’s Not The Whole Story

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will soon issue its report of the second phase of an examination of the OCC/Fed sponsored mortgage servicer foreclosure review process. In 2011, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) [...]

JPMorgan Chase Still Haunted By Foreclosure Reviews, And More

Last week Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess at the New York Times DealBook catalogued the trials and tribulations of JPMorgan and, in particular, its CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon. The list of woes grows by the day. It was gratifying to me to see major media now noticing the chink in Dimon’s armor. I called [...]

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