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SEC News at MarketWatch

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

On July 21 Dodd-Frank will be five years old. If I hadn’t been through the same thing with Sarbanes-Oxley now twice, I’d be more excited. But the partisan rancor on this law, especially at the SEC, is even worse.

Speaking Engagements/Conferences

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Next Up: July 15, 2015, Speaking with Broc Romanek, editor of the, to the Shareholder Services Association Annual Meeting. Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C..

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

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

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.

“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.

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, “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.