2013 - Emile Woolf writes

Emile replies to his daughter, Gabi Maddocks

On 20 Dec 2013, at 08:52, Gabi Maddocks wrote: Hi dad – I think you might be interested in this.Xx Check out this video on YouTube. Sent from my iPhone: “The facts are not surprising. The US Government has been printing money out of thin air at the rate of $85 Billion per month for […]

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Auditing banks’ toxic debts

AUDITING BANKS’ TOXIC DEBTS Ever since the financial markets registered their massive tumble in 2008, when Lehman Brothers was left to drown in its swamp of toxic debts, banks’ managements, regulators, rating agencies and auditors have been muttering that banks must rebuild their balance sheets in line with successive Basel capital adequacy criteria. Their auditors, […]

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Competition amongst auditors – not the answer

Have auditors learned more from the 2008 financial crash than economists? The high priests of the dismal science refuse to recognise that the world has changed, though their discreditied theories continue to collapse about their ears.  Any serious penetration of the causes of collapse are not in the university syllabus, which now reads more like […]

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Hiding the truth with complexity: trust your own reason

When I started writing for this magazine over 40 years ago the editor was a wise old owl called Geoffrey Holmes. During a conversation on some thorny accounting controversy Geoffrey would slyly suggest that I tackle it in my next article. It was no use suggesting a different subject – he would simply look at […]

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Standards can obscure the simplest concepts: try ‘true and fair’

UK Companies Acts since 1947 have stipulated that audited accounts of companies should give a ‘true and fair view’. After 66 years the meaning of that elusive formula continues to be hotly debated by accounting bodies, regulators, representatives of investors and pension funds, civil servants and politicians. Prior to that time the Acts used the […]

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Sanity will return – In its own time

Everyone knows that the world’s economic woes are soluble. Every leader acknowledges the blessings of free trade, low taxes, sound money and less regulation. Yet their actions, as ever, speak louder than words and somehow achieve the precise opposite. Take “free trade”. It allows cross-border commercial transactions to take place between willing traders unimpeded by […]

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Banking principles? A contradiction in terms

You hardly need an auditor to tell you what you can see for yourself. The unholy trinity of Central Bank, Treasury and the cabal of leading banking institutions has been operating a mutual self-help alliance that has rendered Britain’s banking capability utterly dysfunctional. The banking sector, overjoyed at the prospect of absorbing central bank largesse, […]

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Time to call the European Commission to Account

The subject of Europe polarises any otherwise rational debate. Obsessional prejudice, whether pro or con, induces deafness and drives out reason. More inflammatory even than party politics (where spin and expediency have blunted the ideals), passions over Europe (the Union, not the continent) have taken on the trappings of a belief system, susceptible to neither […]

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