• Archive for the ‘Pure Content’ Category

    Update: McKenna at the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center

    By • Aug 5th, 2017

    I’ve updated the post to point to some recent news about PwC and banks that failed in Ukraine and Spain… I returned to Washington D.C. and my job as a journalist at MarketWatch in late June, after almost three months as a Journalist in Residence at the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. My fellowship deliverable, in exchange for the opportunity to study with the researchers, was three posts for the Center’s Pro-Market blog on the state of the audit industry.



    At the Stigler Center Pro-Market Blog: Big 4 Lobbies Against SOx

    By • May 30th, 2017

    The last time anyone attempted to “modernize” auditor independence rules it was the Securities and Exchange Commission, in 2000, before the Enron failure and Arthur Andersen’s demise, as a result of the growing concern that firms increasing focus on consulting was distracting them for their core purpose, auditing. The Big Four firms are now opportunistically lobbying to go back in time, before Enron, when the industry was self-regulated and mostly left alone, able to have as many conflicts of interest as their powerful public clients would allow.



    KPMG Takes Its Turn With a Big 4 -Sized Scandal

    By • Apr 17th, 2017

    The KPMG/PCAOB scandal is neither the first or last time a Big 4 firm reminded us that there’s nothing special anymore about being a Big 4 firm professional The firms, and their partners, are not capitalist eunuchs, immune from perverse incentives that advocates for free markets say, if big enough, can corrupt anyone.



    A Happy Story About Housing

    By • Nov 25th, 2016

    My MarketWatch colleague Andrea Riquier took a field trip to Indiana earlier this year on a tip about a group that helps people struggling to get their act together and prepare for home ownership. It’s a nice thing to see, given all the ongoing struggles many still have with jobs, finances and the challenges of this economy, especially in the heartland.



    Remarks at New York University Forum on Non-GAAP Metrics

    By • Nov 16th, 2016

    Here are my remarks from the panel discussion on non-GAAP metrics I participated in onNovember 7, 2016 at NYU Stern.



    Interesting Disclosures During TBW v. PwC Pre-Trial Period

    By • Sep 26th, 2016

    The TBW v. PwC trial gave the public quite a few interesting disclosures about the audit industry and PwC, including some some pointing to how the firms’ finances, in this case PwC, work.



    TBW Plan Trustee v. PwC: A Look at What Led To It and What’s Next

    By • Sep 25th, 2016

    Here’s a brief look at the TBW Plan Trustee v. PwC trial, what led to it and what’s next.



    Peter Thiel’s Pursuit Of Technological Progress; It’s Not About Democracy and It’s Definitely Not About Capitalism – Part 1

    By • Jul 25th, 2016

    Peter Thiel is no philosopher or a new era public intellectual. Thiel is, instead, the embodiment of a technocratic elitist and libertarian individualist with one goal: growth in wealth. This is part 1 of a paper about Thiel I wrote recently for a class in the Masters of Liberal Arts degree program at the University of Chicago.



    Peter Thiel’s Pursuit Of Technological Progress; It’s Not About Democracy and It’s Definitely Not About Capitalism – Part 3

    By • Jul 25th, 2016

    As a journalist, a reporter, I sometimes have to read things I would not otherwise. My luxury as a freelance journalist has been to write what I want, for whom I wish, when I want, and charge what the market will bear. Nothing lasts forever.



    Peter Thiel’s Pursuit Of Technological Progress; It’s Not About Democracy and It’s Definitely Not About Capitalism – Part 2

    By • Jul 25th, 2016

    One of Peter Thiel’s most interesting ideas is the Thiel Fellowship. It is also his most insidious. In Part 2 of my paper, I talk about borrowing from Timothy Leary, Thiel’s Fellowship initiative, Karl Marx, and the “iron cage” Thiel promotes for anyone not quite as bright as he.