Mortgages Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Emile Woolf writes

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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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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Enhancing banks’ accounting regulation: and about time!

Regulation of the UK financial services industry is now entrusted to a new body with a new name and a new boss. Andrew Bailey, whose signature appears on your banknotes, takes over this month as chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority, successor to the FSA. Initial impressions augur well. In his first post-appointment interview […]

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Audit quality: is lack of competition the problem?

Twelve years ago, when their audit of Enron’s last accounts heralded the demise of Arthur Andersen, the largest end of the audit market shrank to four firms. The Competition Commission (CC) has now provisionally concluded that the audit market is restricted: companies are inhibited from switching auditors and there is a tendency for auditors to […]

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EU membership – in or out? Think it through, but tread warily

“Expert” is defined as a  person whose research, knowledge and experience accords them the respect of  their peers in a well-distinguished domain. Economics is just such a domain, yet the degree of diversity in the views of  so-called experts can be astonishing. Take one of today’s most topical issues: will a UK exit from the […]

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All the forecasts are wrong

THE BARCHESTER CHRONICLE’  www.barchestergreen.co.uk by Emile Woolf www.emilewoolfwrites.co.uk Forecasts are a particular problem these days. From 2009 to 2011 every prediction, from the Chancellor’s Spending Reviews to the Bank of England’s official outlooks, suggested that economic growth, however modest, would return by late 2012. Even the Office of Budget Responsibility and the Institute of Fiscal […]

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Accountancy’s role in maintaining the cycle of deception

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, the old cliché tells us. But what if it  really is broke? You can alleviate the symptoms but you can’t cure the disease while the root-cause remains. On the economic front, cries for stimulus and growth will remain forlorn while the dearth of credit persists, and monetary systems […]

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To survive, auditors must raise their game

Have giant corporations outgrown the ability of even the largest audit firms to report safely on their accounts? Complexity, geographical reach, exponential growth in the number and size of transactions leave auditors struggling to do justice to their authentication processes. The greater the size of the client entity, the more that can go wrong. This […]

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Sovereign bailouts versus economic law: who will win?

The Queen’s question about the credit crisis was wonderfully simple: “If these things were so big, why did no one see them coming?” The answer given by Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, in his recent interview is that many people did see the crisis coming, but no one knew when. The same […]

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Sustainable recovery: reform the taxes – or miss the opportunity

‘’No wind is fair to a man who does not know for which port he is making’’ (Seneca, AD1 to 65). Assuming this is valid for governments too, is the coalition rudderless? The deficit is being brought under control; “public servants’’ are being reminded what that phrase means; quangos are being ditched; and the process […]

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