Mortgages Archives - Page 3 of 4 - Emile Woolf writes

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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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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