Europe & the Euro Archives - Page 3 of 7 - Emile Woolf writes

Economic Perspectives 1 – The Deficit Myth

Surpluses & deficits are hotly debated – but what about the currency? Much has been made of Britain’s current account deficit, which is the amount by which our imports of goods and services exceed our exports. It is a situation that protectionists would love to “do something about”, such as resorting to tariffs in order […]

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New EU Audit Regulations – rising to the challenge

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE ‘ACCOUNTANCY’ [JULY 2016] During the 2008 financial crisis several banks and other lending and deposit-taking institutions collapsed without a hint of warning from their auditors. Since that time pressure to improve the quality of annual audits has been building up, and by the time you read this, new EU Audit Regulations […]

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Punishment where it belongs

After six months the fall-out from Tesco’s £263 million half-year profit overstatement still reverberates. The FRC now expects companies to give full and fair disclosure of how they account for income in the areas that brought Tesco into disrepute. Ocado is the first to report under the new regime, yet its accounts give no figures […]

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Perplexing times for economists and accountants

The world of economics and business is riddled with anomalies. For example, the UK is enjoying buoyant GDP growth and low unemployment, yet the excess of government spending over income (the “deficit”) continues to grow. Despite so-called “cuts”, 46% of GDP still goes on public expenditure, of which 60% doggedly adheres to welfare, health and […]

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Big Audits: are they fit for purpose?

Over the past 30 years the 12 largest firms, through various consolidating moves, became the Big-8, then the Big-5 and, following the Enron/Andersen debacle 14 years ago, settled down as the “Big-4” who alone possess the reach, technical capability and manpower to conduct audits of the worlds largest enterprises. Although second-tier contenders like BDO and […]

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Emile’s thoughts on Scottish independence

Understanding separatism The Scottish bid for independence was far from unique in today’s restless world. Madrid’s central and highly interventionist government, for example, is no friend to the people of Catalonia, who speak a different language and have every reason to feel remote and culturally disenfranchised. French-speaking Canadians in Quebec recently urged divorce from British-oriented […]

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Capital allocation & infrastructure spending: let the markets decide

My summer riverboat cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest along the Rhine, Main and Danube proved to be fully as instructive as it was relaxing. The majestic hilltop fortresses, castles and palatial edifices, erected to keep out tribal hordes, also testify to indulgences pursued by monarchs, princes and bishops over hundreds of years of relentless self-aggrandisement […]

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Auditing the auditors: some improvement. But what of the economy?

The audit failures I have been highlighting so regularly are given full exposure in the Financial Reporting Council’s latest report on big-firm audit quality in the UK. Adverse findings relate to the usual suspects: goodwill impairment, revenue recognition, IT controls and loan loss provisions. Although quality (or lack of it) varies between the four top […]

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Sloppy auditing has its consequences – just look around you

My repeated warnings to auditors that compliance with IFRS does not guarantee accounting truth and fairness appear to have struck a resounding chord in high places: the House of Lords, to be precise, where the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards debated the Bill on banking reform, now enacted by Royal Assent. In Hansard for 23 […]

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Correspondence with Patrick Baron on the role of money & wealth transfers

From Pat Baron: “Emile, Even Germany is not immune to the predations of the euro.  I keep pointing out that German exporters benefit from euro credit expansion, but at the expense of all other Germans.  This is one reason that Germany is reluctant to put an end to the euro mess…the exporters and their constituents, workers, […]

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