Because of its persistent inability to tally its accounts, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year. -- Reuters journalist Scot J. Paltrow investigates how the US military's bad accounting not only wastes taxpayers money
, but helps ruin the life of ordinary soldiers and veterans
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Nov 23, 2013 -
The Lonely Redemption Of Sandy Lewis
“The complicity on Wall Street is sickness!” Mr. Lewis says. He fixes you with his laser stare. “If you think the big firms are being honest” — his tone slides streetwise — “well, sweetheart, go think something else!”
The temptation is to dismiss Mr. Lewis, 73, as a crank, except he once ruled as an eccentric genius of arbitrage, with a preternatural feel for the tectonic movements of the markets. He has railed for decades about venalities now on daily display. Rude truth is his currency. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jul 9, 2013 -
Out of thin air?
"Have you ever said something like 'Let me buy you a beer next week'? I'm sure you have. We all issue promises of this sort. And we frequently use such promises as a form of currency... I have just described a simple credit exchange. Societies rely heavily on promising-making and promise-keeping. It is the foundation of all financial markets. I'd like to point out something about the promises you make. They are made 'out of thin air.' " [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 14, 2011 -
is a witty and erudite essay by MeFi lurker
John Lanchester in The London Review of Books on how completely and utterly screwed the British economy is. In the process of laying out his case Lanchester touches on varied issues, such Scottish banknotes
, why Alan Hollinghurst's phrase "tremendous, Basil Fawltyish lengths" is applicable to the reaction by the US and UK governments to the banking meltdown, the value destruction of corporate mergers, the invention of modern accounting, and why no one really knows how large a share of the failed banks is owned by governments.
posted by Kattullus
on May 26, 2009 -
Stuff Accountants Like --
As the US tax return deadline approaches, take an inside and humorous look at the professionals who you either love, hate, or whose revenue recognition principles you may blame for the mortgage crisis. Or maybe, perhaps, pity?
posted by CPAGirl
on Apr 8, 2009 -
The return of Ralph Snart
...to the web
and to print
! This is Marc Hansen's outrageous story of a mild-mannered alcoholic accountant gone completely mental, featuring Dr. Goot
(evil scientist and nemesis), Mr. Lizard
(thanks to radioactive crickets) and Holly Hornswoggle
(evil lab assistant and love interest). It originally ran from 1986 to 1994 and of course there is always the obligatory unofficial site
posted by boost ventilator
on Jun 11, 2004 -
Mr. Civil Rights reaches out
Other, bigger fish ex-CEOs of companies brought down to earth by major accounting, shall we say, woes, may be keeping quiet, even if they haven't been convicted of anything. But not former HealthSouth
exec and would-be platinum girl group-manager
Richard M. Scrushy, who not only has flaunted his wealth
as of late, but produced a personal web site that plays up his humble Alabama roots and which, in a totally bizarre fashion, links his struggle to the Civil Rights Movement. (Note: The site's all screwed up on Mozilla, designed strictly for IE.)
posted by raysmj
on Oct 30, 2003 -
worldcom, enron. In Australia we know
how to make a loss. AU$11,962,000,000 in fact. One has to wonder how much of this is a "paper loss" or how much of this is "creative accounting for tax purposes". Or just where the hell did the money go?
posted by Neale
on Aug 14, 2002 -
The U.S. Army pays for lapdances.
"In addition to the inappropriate purchases, the GAO said more than 1,200 Army employees wrote bad checks to pay their government credit card bills. Last year alone, that cost taxpayers $3.8 million in higher fees and lost rebates." You mean, the government practices bad accounting? Ron Paul
points out that the Congress commits the worst accounting fraud of all
. But the most important issue of all is, with the government paying for Strip Club tips, gambling, and wine, does this mean that God will no longer bless America?
posted by insomnyuk
on Jul 18, 2002 -
"The bigger the binge,
the longer and more severe the hangover." A short history of accounting scandals and fraudulent bankruptcies that follow bubble economies.
posted by raaka
on Jul 10, 2002 -
It ain't just Enron
-- This kind of pro forma reporting of "profits" is shifty, misleading, and common practice. Should us small investors be worried? Or do I need to be an accountant to know why this isn't a bad thing? And does this mean that there more Enrons out there, ready to implode in a pile of worthless paper?
posted by BitterOldPunk
on Jan 31, 2002 -