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“Tax Avoidance On An Industrial Scale” Says British MP About PwC’s Luxembourg Work For AIG And Others

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

British MP Margaret Hodge grilled Kevin Nicholson, of PwC’s UK tax practice, in a Parliament Public Accounts Committee hearing on Monday. You know you’re on your “back foot” when the first thing out of your mouth has to be a denial that you lied under oath. More details about PwC’s tax avoidance scheme for audit client and US government owned AIG.



Speaking Engagements/Conferences

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Getting ready for back-to-back Illinois CPA Society conference presentations this week in Springfield and Rosemont on auditor litigation.



Piling Up For PwC

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Update: The PCAOB is investigating PwC for its tax avoidance advice to Caterpillar, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. One down, more than 100+ PwC audit clients advised via Luxembourg to go…



New At Forbes Online: The Precarious Financial Position Of The New York Times

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Update: This column was linked to by the NYT Public Editor! I published some New York Times numbers over at Forbes.com, “Time Is Running Short For The New York Times”, in anticipation of the company’s 3Q earnings announcement on October 30.



18-Year Old Anthony Canalungo Questions Herbalife, And PwC, On Exchange Rates

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Anthony Canalungo wrote a really interesting article about Herbalife’s financials in Venezuela. Three different MLM companies from the peer group in addition to Herbalife operating in Venezuela and all except for Herbalife are using SICAD 2. What else do these four firms have in common? Auditor PwC.



Auditor Independence: Another Case of Misplaced Loyalty

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Ryan Adams testified on behalf of PwC in an important court case. How can PwC be independent of Adam’s employer Marin Software, and Adams, the Financial Reporting Director at this newly public PwC-audited client company, if he’s testifying on PwC’s behalf in litigation that could impact PwC’s business model in California and, perhaps, nationally?



Auditors and the Financial Crisis: Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

This is the text of my speech for the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics Conference last Friday. The theme of this year conference was “The Institutional Foundation of Capitalism”. Our special session was entitled ‘The New Financial Architecture after Financial Crisis’.



Three Book Reviews: Naked Bankers, Mute Watchdogs, And Youthful Luchre

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Just in time for summer vacations, I’d like to offer for your consideration three books I’ve recently read.



Reminiscing About The First Too Big To Fail Bank – Continental Bank

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

There’s a conference planned for next week, May 15, at Gleacher Center in Chicago, “30 Years After the Failure of Continental Illinois Bank: Have We Solved Too Big to Fail?” I wrote about my experience at CINB, my first job, for American Banker back in 2011.



US Department of Justice v KPMG: Document Shows “Too Few To Fail” Was Opening Premise

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

A new KPMG tax shelter era document surfaced, in original format, that had not yet been cited or quoted from in any media reports. The document tells us that late in the negotiations, June 27, 2005 the DOJ still would not agree to all of KPMG’s terms, including promising not to criminally charge the firm. But the decision to make sure the firm did not “go under” had already been made. KPMG and its Skadden attorneys only had to make sure the DOJ didn’t, in a misguided show of sheer aggressiveness, cause another Arthur Andersen.