Mortgages Archives - Page 3 of 4 - Emile Woolf writes

Psychosis grips British banking. Yet who will break the deadlock?

I have written regularly on banking folly – a subject everyone now knows to be inexhaustible. In Accountancy, March 2005, I wrote: “The size of the credit mountain is without precedent…… should we ask whether it is sustainable? Or should we worry?” I noted that five of Britain’s top-10 companies were banks, compared with none […]

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Hong Kong and China: reconciling the economic incongruities

Having been writing, seemingly forever, on professional matters and wider economic issues, it’s time for a refreshing break – for me at least. I am writing on the high seas, visiting many fascinating places – Guam, Papua New Guinea, the Great Barrier Reef. But the most intriguing are Hong Kong and China. I shall say […]

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Economic and accounting theory provide no answers if they ignore reality

If ever there was a time for questioning, this is it. How did the collapse of credit and its ensuing crisis creep up so suddenly on the most sophisticated, best informed, global financial community in history? What are its lessons? Do all the frantic short-term expedients provide real solutions? Or will they generate their own […]

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Reforming the banking system? End the legalised extortion

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign lands curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” No epitaph on the first decade of the new millennium could be more apt than […]

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Bring back “substance over form” to overcome this accounting farce

When “true and fair” accounts disclose either favourable results that are factually unsupportable, or a position much worse than warranted due to an “accounting quirk”, with no bearing on actual performance, we are bound to wonder what is going on. Arbitrary losses may arise when a business is forced to separate its foreign exchange credits […]

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The public scandal of parliamentary expenses – here and in Brussels

The sheer inanity of the rules on parliamentary expenses guaranteed they would be open to misinterpretation and abuse. The incomprehensibility of ad hoc, uncodified rules that confuse “reimbursable expenses” with “allowances” has led to a pot-pourri of reactions, devoid of sense or judgment, in which extravagance, genuine error, sly acquisitiveness and fraud are jumbled in […]

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Time for a reformed regulatory framework – auditing included

Time for a reformed regulatory framework – auditing included   The economic collapse is merciless in its revelations of failure, whether evidencing spineless regulation, ignorant policy-making, ineffective auditing, incompetent rating or wimpish governance. There’s nowhere to hide – as Warren Buffett puts it, when the tide goes out you can see who’s been bathing naked. […]

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Getting the economy going: cut public sector waste and transform taxes

Getting the economy going: cut public sector waste and transform taxes By now the causes of the economic crisis, and the course of its swift global trajectory, have been explored ad nauseam. But while its bitter consequences are being experienced for a year or three there is much that governments can learn from enforced austerity. […]

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The great credit collapse: what have we learnt

  Sir Thomas Gresham was a formidable figure in the late 16th Century. He built the Royal Exchange, the most fabulous commercial building of its day. Modeled on the Antwerp Bourse, it contained 150 small shops, making it one of the world’s first shopping malls. Yet its chief virtue was that, for the first time, […]

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Regulators, rating agencies, accountants, economists: they haven’t a clue.

Accountants are mere recorders, whereas forecasting lies within the province of chartists, economists and strategists. Yet accountants must share at least some of the blame for the lapse in forecasting reliability. After all, investment strategists require indicative source material in the form of financial statements prepared and audited by accountants. The principal justification for today’s […]

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