If we can’t trust journalists to sort out who’s telling the truth and who’s just selling us, who can we trust?
Archive for the ‘The Big 4 And Consulting’ Category
There are five big auditor independence issues that space prevented a full discussion of yesterday and that are not on the agenda of the PCAOB SAG meeting this week. My hope is that regulators, policy makers and other interested parties will start talking about these issues, too, while I am in DC this week.
PwC says it will acquire Booz. Don’t count on the SEC or the PCAOB to stop PwC and its audit firm competitors from “slipping back” into the old conflicts between audit and consulting. Is anyone guarding the guardians?
Crain’s Chicago Business and journalist Steve Strahler have produced a series on the reemergence of the consulting arms of the Big Four audit firms with a particular focus on the Midwest and Chicago firm leadership. I’m quoted and there’s a nice photo.
What are the ethics of an “ethics and compliance organization” canceling a speaker because sponsors complain? Welcome to the world of trade conference pay-to-play and “money talks, critical speakers walk”.
Lofty goals like EY’s Vision 2020 serve a promotional purpose to attract top talent, and create the rationalization for promises of vast internal opportunities to keep top performers engaged. But unintended consequences would likely foreclose any real possibility that the $50 billion aspect of EY’s 2020 strategic plan could be executed as currently conceived.
PwC has an ongoing independence conflict in performing the Ally/ResCap independent foreclosure review. This conflict is disturbing on two fronts.
Here’s a compilation – updated – with links for the columns/posts I’ve written about the mortgage servicer foreclosure reviews mandated by the April 2011 SEC/Fed consent orders, the April 2012 Attorneys General mortgage settlement and the intersection of the two regulatory actions.
It’s easy to forget, with all the propaganda being published by major media, why these Fed/OCC consent decrees were issued in the first place. The fact that a borrower may be in default does not negate the overwhelming evidence that court cases have provided that banks proceeded fraudulently and illegally in some foreclosures and looted those borrowers and institutional investors in mortgage securities by charging fraudulent and illegal fees in the process.