Negligence & Liability Archives - Emile Woolf writes

AUDITORS DEFEATED BY ACCOUNTING ABERRATIONS

  It is a curious development in professional auditing circles that being sued for negligence has almost been overtaken in the “nightmare-stakes” by the threat of a regulatory mauling. Widely broadcast findings that an auditor’s work has been negligent lead to severe reputational attrition and massive fines – and unlike judgments in case law, none […]

Read More…

Regulation has Gone Crazy!

Unregulated regulation – a contagious malady EMILE WOOLF – EP 52 [Going Postal – 8 April 2019] More often than not, regulation is a cover-up for exploitation or protectionism – probably both. Thoughtless, invasive regulation has become unstoppable. Traders and consumers adhere to the idea that highly regulated markets serve their interests, and it suits […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

Institutionally Gullible – loan-loss provisions

“ACCOUNTANCY” – JUNE 2017 Banks, criminality and accounting: end of the road?  All those banks and other financial institutions that have gone bust, or been bailed out, over the past 20 years demonstrate that the sector’s corporate conduct has been wayward, to put it mildly. That these dodgy outfits are located in the UK, USA, […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

Clarity or obfuscation?

Cashing in on complexity: the ultimate conflict Last month I deplored the unfathomable regulatory maze into which accounting rules have descended, noting its utter irrelevance to stakeholders’ needs. I condemned the vast tracts of clutter in company reports that leave little room for anything potentially useful, and I denounced the massive sums wasted on consultancies […]

Read More…

Economic Perspectives 9 – Regulatory extortion and legitimising corruption

News media gloat over the eye-watering levels of retribution (in the form of fines and penalties) finally being meted out to aberrant banks found guilty of having violated securities laws leading up to the last financial crash. I find it astonishing, firstly, that it has taken close to 10 years to identify, formulate and punish […]

Read More…