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Blog Profile / Accounting Watchdog


URL :http://blogs.forbes.com/francinemckenna/
Filed Under:Business & Finance
Posts on Regator:142
Posts / Week:0.8
Archived Since:February 24, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Ten Things To Do When Markets Are Unexpectedly Closed

I hear there’s a storm named Sandy brewing on the east coast. This one involves lots of rain and blustery winds. The bluster is not so unusual in those parts but torrential rains in late fall are cold and very uncomfortable if you’re stuck in them. So get yourself to high ground and warm environs [...]

Sheila Bair Called It – Foreclosure Lookback Reviews Are A “Ruse”

called it. The former FDIC chairman’s book, “Bull By the Horns,” has several chapters on the housing crisis. She fought hard, according to her account, for something different and better to help damaged borrowers. She can now say that the OCC/Fed  “lookback” reviews mandated by April 2011 consent orders are a “ruse and a waste [...]

Is The SEC’s Ponzi Crusade Enabling Companies To Cook The Books, Enron-Style?

The SEC is busy chasing Ponzi schemers and foreign bribers. But bogus accounting remains a bigger danger to the markets. Is another Enron brewing?

Zynga and Facebook: A Close Relationshop Can Distort Revenue

Revenue can be manipulated when it depends on “contingent sales,” or sales that won’t happen unless there’s sell-through by a middleman to end-users or customers. From 2000 through 2002 AOL committed fraud to boost its online advertising revenue and deflect attention from a business slow-down. AOL, at that time a division of Time-Warner, created fraudulent [...]

New York Attorney General Sues JP Morgan And Raises Question Of What The “Auditor” Knew

Eric Schneiderman,the Attorney General, filed suit yesterday against JP Morgan Chase for the sins of Bear Stearns committed prior to Bear Stearns distressed purchase by the bank in 2008.  Schneiderman plays a dual role here, as AG and co-head of the Obama administration Residential Mortgage backed Securities Working Group. Show More Summary

Senate Committee Says Multinationals Heading Offshore To Avoid Billions In Tax

Senator Carl Levin’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will hear testimony today starting at 2:00 p.m. on the tax avoidance and possible tax evasion activities of multinational corporations.  , Hewlett Packard, IRS officials, accounting firm Ernst & Young and accounting standard setters will testify. Show More Summary

Book Review: Neil Barofsky On Bailouts, TARP, and Whether It Was All Worth It

This review was originally published by American Banker for my column, “Accountable“, on BankThink. It is reprinted here by permission.   There’s some debate on whether taxpayers will make a profit on the AIG bailout. Some pundits are positive we will. Barofsky begs to differ. See Barofsky respond to Andrew Ross Sorkin and others on [...]

New York AG’s Private Equity Investigation: Money Grab or Shameless Politics?

It must be a Presidential election year because otherwise normal people are debating arcane provisions of the federal tax law and some seem to actually be enjoying it. Everybody’s got an opinion on the New York Times report that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigation of several private equity firms – KKR, TPG Capital, [...]

Jeff Connaughton’s “The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins” A Book Review

Jeff Connaughton has a new job: truth teller. The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins is a memoir and more, covering Connaughton’s twenty-plus years working, one way or another, for Senator, and now Vice President, Joe Biden. He’s a “Professional Democrat” turned lobbyist who sought answers, and pushed for reforms, as Chief of Staff for [...]

Already Behind The Eight-Ball: Auditors of Broker-Dealers Are A Disaster

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the US audit industry regulator, issued its first report on the auditors of broker-dealers this week and it was ugly. The PCAOB inspection team found serious auditing deficiencies in all 23 audits they reviewed. The PCAOB released the report on August 18, the first anniversary of the SEC’s approval [...]

Deloitte and Standard Chartered Bank: In Service To Profit Above All

It didn’t take very long for Deloitte to become more than just an “independent” consultant, one required to be hired by Bank in 2004 to help the bank prove it was fixing Bank Secrecy Act and Anti Money Laundering issues. In October 2004, the State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve Bank of [...]

Marissa Mayer’s Pregnancy: What Does Yahoo Have to Disclose?

, !’s new CEO starts her job today. She is not only taking a big job at a company that’s had its share of issues and five CEOs in the last five years. Mayer is also six months pregnant. She disclosed that news to Fortune Magazine three hours after announced her appointment. ’s press release [...]

Auditors All Fall Down; PFGBest and MF Global Frauds Reveal Weak Watchdogs

Ring-a-ring-a-roses, A pocket full of posies; Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down. Kate Greenaway’s 1881 edition of Mother Goose; or, the Old Nursery Rhymes Never again, they said, after $1.6 billion of customer money “vaporized” at. But now there’s been another big fraud against customers in the futures industry. This time the CEO of PFGBest  – [...]

What The SEC, And The PCAOB, Still Don’t Admit About Chinese Frauds

I’ve written a long post at my site, re: The Auditors on the ongoing efforts of the SEC, and the PCAOB, to get a handle on the pervasive fraud by Chines-based companies listed on US exchanges. I have never been bullish on China for investors or otherwise. In fact, I fail to see why any [...]

Barclays Manipulates Libor While Auditor PwC Snoozes

What do, JP Morgan, and have in common? They are all examples of risk management and audit failures and the auditor of all of them is PricewaterhouseCoopers. It seems like only yesterday when everyone was asking me if Ernst & Young would be the next global audit firm to buckle under the weight of [...]

Uncontrolled Risk Taking, Not Bad Accounting, Did MF Global In

John Corzine got the chief executive job at in early 2010 for one reason: Chris Flowers bailed the firm out in 2008 after a wheat trader’s shenanigans cost it $140 million. Flowers was growing impatient with constant losses and Corzine was brought in to return the firm to profitability. ’s core business was losing money, squeezed [...]

Accounting For The JP Morgan Whale Trades

$2 billion in losses. And a world of pain for “Don’t Regulate Me” Dimon. Am I shocked that no mainstream media outlet has yet sought to explain in accounting terms the stunning announcement made by a week ago last Thursday of a $2 billion loss on a series of trades made by JP Morgan’s Chief [...]

Chance Meetings At Milken Global Conference 2012

I subscribe to the philosophy of business conference attendance. Carney, editor of CNBC’s NetNet blog, has a decidedly different view of his duties than the typical print personality who does some on-air duties when the whim hits him: When I’m not in one of the panels, I’m typically in the Tiki bar next to the [...]

Where Did GSA Get The Money For Las Vegas? Not From Taxpayers

How did the General Services Administration, GSA, afford the lavish party in 2010 that’s become the butt of jokes, even from the President? Every other Federal agency is having a budget crisis; cutbacks are everywhere. Although the Vegas “conference” took place in 2010, that was not so long ago. Federal spending has been under scrutiny [...]

Groupon: Ernst & Young’s Accounting Challenged Client

This story appears as a sidebar on page 154 for the feature, How Zynga, Facebook and Groupon’s Go-To Auditor Rewrites Accounting Rules, in the May 7 edition of Forbes magazine.  shows how social media companies can game the numbers. Social media accounting games aren’t limited to games ­companies. Witness Ernst & Young’s lightning-rod client,. Before going [...]

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