Governance & Regulation Archives - Emile Woolf writes

Institutionally Gullible – loan-loss provisions

“ACCOUNTANCY” – JUNE 2017 Banks, criminality and accounting: end of the road?  All those banks and other financial institutions that have gone bust, or been bailed out, over the past 20 years demonstrate that the sector’s corporate conduct has been wayward, to put it mildly. That these dodgy outfits are located in the UK, USA, […]

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Economic Perspectives 14 (April 2017) – Meaning of Free Trade

  ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 14 The natural condition of international commerce is unilateral free trade [I acknowledge the inspirational work of, respectively, Professors Don Boudreaux and Patrick Barron in preparing this instalment of EPs.] Preface In the above title, the words “international” (obviously implying ‘more than one’) and “unilateral” (meaning ‘one-sided’), may appear to be self-contradictory. […]

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Economic Perspectives 20 – “Buffers for Duffers!’

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 20 – August 2017   BUFFERS FOR DUFFERS! Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, tells us that “this time it’s different” because the capital “buffers” (amounts that lending banks must retain in their free reserves) now imposed by central banks will prevent a banking crisis similar to the sub-prime implosion that […]

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Government knows what it is doing? Dream on

SEPTEMBER 2012 King Canute was neither vain nor foolish. He ordered the tide to recede only to demonstrate to his court that even his awesome powers had limits. Vain and foolish politicians, however, aspire to preserve the myth of Euroland and still believe that, by hook or (especially) by crook, they might actually make it […]

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BANKING SCANDALS: CAN THE RBS SAGA TELL US ANYTHING NEW?

It’s not as if each successive banking scandal throws up new insights. The proverbial “innocent bystander” might reasonably suppose that, by now, something would have been learnt from the cyclical repetition of egregious behaviour and the crises it generates. Much of this behaviour is just plain foolish: unbridled credit expansion; lending practices landing banks with […]

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Economic perspectives 14 – unilateral free trade is natural

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 14 The natural condition of international commerce is unilateral free trade [I acknowledge the inspirational work of, respectively, Professors Don Boudreaux and Patrick Barron in preparing this instalment of EPs.] Preface In the above title, the words “international” (obviously implying ‘more than one’) and “unilateral” (meaning ‘one-sided’), may appear to be self-contradictory. But, […]

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Economic Perspectives 19: Does Labour respect sanctity of private property?

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 19 Does Labour respect sanctity of private property? Lessons to be discerned from the tragic Grenfell Towers fire transcend the immediate questions on cladding, stairwells, sprinklers, alarm systems, escape routes, incandescent materials and faulty appliances. Far more has been revealed than a recital of fire regulations in need of modernisation. The political exploitation […]

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Why revised Ethical Standard will not restore public trust

‘ACCOUNTANCY’ – AUGUST 2017 Why the FRC’s ethical standard fails to restore public trust Ethics is far more than an incidental feature of the auditing framework. It is actually its very essence. In virtually every instance of audit failure that finds its way into the public domain, whether it concerns undetected management fraud, money laundering, […]

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Clarity or obfuscation?

Cashing in on complexity: the ultimate conflict Last month I deplored the unfathomable regulatory maze into which accounting rules have descended, noting its utter irrelevance to stakeholders’ needs. I condemned the vast tracts of clutter in company reports that leave little room for anything potentially useful, and I denounced the massive sums wasted on consultancies […]

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Accounting clarity – or regulatory clutter?

APRIL 2017 – ‘ACCOUNTANCY’ MAGAZINE The impediment of accounting clutter Management accounts have never been subjected to the rigorous straightjacket of regulatory standards because people running businesses base their internal accounting systems on utility, or relevance to their needs. In an ideal world, users of published financial statements would be consulted on utility before involving […]

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