Views on improving the integrity of global capital markets
Never Mind the PCAOB, Here Comes the Martin Act train

News of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s decision to file a civil lawsuit against Ernst and Young LLP for its role as auditor to Lehman Brothers is just the latest crack to develop in the… READ MORE ›

Historical Blind Spots

It was during the implosion of Enron and hundreds of dot-com and telecom bubble companies a decade ago that accountancy became the “in” profession on the dinner-party circuit. Formerly staid CPAs regaled guests, young and old alike, with their… READ MORE ›

Secret Society: Business as Usual for Derivatives

When the near-collapse of the global financial system in 2008 led to widespread calls for regulatory reform, much of the outcry was over derivatives—a major culprit in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression…. READ MORE ›

Mosaic Theory or Painting by the Numbers?

The initial hysteria over the “vast” insider-trading scandal has waned somewhat in recent days. Early indications pointed to an assault on the so-called “mosaic theory” and other types of primary research tools. A particular target… READ MORE ›

Harry Potter and the Dark Mosaic

A rumor is circulating that the longstanding practice of searching for and gathering individual pieces of nonpublic data to create a fuller research picture of a particular investment opportunity is somehow, well, inappropriate or far… READ MORE ›

SEC and RIAs: A Love-Hate Relationship

We survey members a lot at CFA Institute because the responses are generally well considered and focused on the ethical high road. We expected nothing different last month when we asked U.S. members in asset… READ MORE ›

A Network of Insiders

The now highly-visible insider trading probe on Wall Street is shining a harsh spotlight on “expert networks.” Relatively new to the investment research landscape, these networks offer access to experts across various industry sectors — medicine, biotech, technology, and… READ MORE ›

Academic or Economic Reality?

We sometimes hear criticisms of our position on fair value accounting that suggest we’re taking an academic view of things with dubious relevance to economic reality. Interesting, then, to read Jack Cieselski’s analysis… READ MORE ›

Banks: “We Will Be Careful”

They are at it once again — banks and other financial firms trying to punch as many holes as possible in the new Dodd-Frank rules relating to oversight of the derivatives market.
Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, or… READ MORE ›

That “Dastardly” ISS

Even the Canadians now have joined in on the bashing of the world’s best known proxy consultant — ISS — in response to the proxy adviser panning a recent merger proposal of two gold companies… READ MORE ›

Go SEC Go!

Get out your pom poms — a cheer for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in order. The agency has had multiple detractors in response to some recent goofs (Madoff, Stanford… READ MORE ›

Beyond Independence

Add this to the list of lessons learned from the financial crisis: Boards of directors often have trouble standing up for shareowner interests. Balancing knowledge of the business with a degree of independence from the… READ MORE ›

Call 1-800-Bailout

Beginning back in the 1980s, Dana Carvey played a character named Enid Strict, otherwise known as “The Church Lady,” on the comedy show “Saturday Night Live.” Enid is best remembered for her signature line, “Isn’t that special?” It is… READ MORE ›

What is a Loan Worth?

We are in the midst of one of the most acrimonious debates over accounting rules in decades. What is at stake is whether banks will have to value their loan portfolios and report the results… READ MORE ›

Audit Firms Get Their Grades

Check out the latest accounting industry score card (PDF) from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the U.S. regulator of accounting firms, which looked at the performance of such firms during the… READ MORE ›



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