Law Archives - Emile Woolf writes

Reading the signs of the coming crash

1 – THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT – Yes, far worse! [ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES – 35] The last crash 2007/2008 Before the last financial crisis in 2007/2008 sub-prime mortgages were all the rage. The idea was that if mortgage lenders put a pot-pourri of mortgages in a parcel, the risks attaching to mortgages at the […]

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Economic Perspectives: EU Membership – understanding the rules

EU MEMBERSHIP – UNDERSTANDING THE RULES While combatants wrestle over potential outcomes of the Brexit debate, we should recognise the part played in all these shenanigans by fear, borne of uncertainty. Many warnings against the dire consequences of leaving the EU have an emotional flavour not rooted in economic logic, while some Brexiteers counter such […]

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The Auditing endgame is nigh

“ACCOUNTANCY” August 2018 Beginning of the end for the status quo of accounting – and auditing! “That which is crooked cannot be made straight” (Ecclesiastes 1,15). I am not suggesting that accounting is inherently crooked, but it is currently plagued by a “disconnect” between compliance and truth – hardly reflected in the Institute’s motto: “recte […]

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“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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