Law Archives - Emile Woolf writes

“Grasping the nettle: now or never for auditors!”

JUNE 2018 – “ACCOUNTANCY” GRASPING THE NETTLE – IT’S NOW OR NEVER FOR AUDITORS It has descended into predictable farce. Every time a corporate reporting clanger is dropped and auditors of a public company are mired in yet another scandal, the Financial Reporting Council responds by undertaking to investigate the accounts and audit of the […]

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“Understanding Economics in an hour”

UNDERSTANDING ECONOMICS IN ONE HOUR 1 – Overview Looking about us, what we see is the passing show. Despite every appearance of reality, it is ephemeral, ever-changing. It is Prospero’s “insubstantial pageant”. What we see is a “result” of something else, always a manifestation rather than a “cause”. It is difficult to discern the real […]

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Tackling the auditing malaise – at source

“ACCOUNTANCY” – APRIL 2018 – EMILE WOOLF “TACKLING THE SOURCE OF THE MALAISE” Deserved it may be, but the massive reputational battering of Big 4 brands does nothing for the profession’s standing. Since those firms appear to be quite capable of bearing the financial consequences of their errors – indeed, their own financial strength exceeds […]

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The FRC’s penal sanctions regime fails to raise standards

“ACCOUNTANCY” – FEBRUARY 2018 PENAL SANCTIONS REGIME THAT DOES NOT RAISE STANDARDS The main objectives of the Financial Reporting Council’s sanctions policy are to improve audit performance, protect the public from sub-standard work, maintain market confidence and uphold proper auditing standards. The policy emphasizes, however, that its purpose is not to punish, but to protect […]

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RECENT TAX HYSTERIA [Economic Perspectives – 25]

Economic Perspectives – 25 REFLECTIONS ON RECENT TAX HYSTERIA [Early December 2017] Where we are now on the subject of taxation – clueless and lost! Widespread “tax-dodging” is the surest sign that our “tax-raising” process is seriously defective! Why doesn’t our existing tax system raise enough money to meet all government commitments? The reason is […]

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HBOS, KPMG & FRC – a trio mired in scandal

“ACCOUNTANCY” – DECEMBER 2017 HBOS, KPMG & FRC – a trio mired in scandal How much credence can shareholders of public companies safely attach to financial statements that carry a “true and fair” imprimatur from their auditors? Big-4 firms hold the lion’s share of public company audit appointments, yet they are regularly found to have […]

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Emile’s review of Godfrey Bloom’s book “The Magic of Banking”

Customer Review 5.0 out of 5 stars A salutary insight into the fallibility of economic thinking at every level. By Emile Woolf  on 4 September 2017   Format: Paperback Godfrey Bloom delivers an apocalyptic message on the consequences of misguided economics in an age of unreason. It carries little ‘good’ news, and its explanation of the ‘bad’ […]

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Economic Perspectives 22

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES – 22 Currency fables – the devaluation myth The notion persists that a particular country’s economic hardship may be alleviated by an official devaluation of its currency on the basis that this would make its exports cheaper to overseas buyers. Let’s therefore pretend, just for the sake of debate, that all countries in […]

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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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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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