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The Big 4 – time for the resumption of the exercise of judgement
December 21st, 2010
The FT has noted:
New York state prosecutors could file civil fraud charges against Ernst & Young for allegedly helping Lehman Brothers hide debt, according to a person familiar with the matter. The office of Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney general who will be sworn in as the state’s governor next month, could file a lawsuit as early as this week, this person said. If a lawsuit is filed, it would be the first allegations involving Lehman since the bank filed for bankruptcy in 2008, and the first charges against an accounting firm in...
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Will the G20 Fall Prey to Collective Amnesia?
October 21st, 2010
BERLIN—On Friday and Saturday this week (October 22d-23th), the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors are due to meet in South Korea. The G20 had raised big expectations at a time when it promised the end of bank secrecy (London, April 2009). At that time, capital markets were reaching their lowest point over several years. Since then, they have partially recovered and the G20 tone has considerably softened. Would we have a correlation between Dow Jones levels and G20 softness? Without going that far, we can only reaffirm that transparency and the fight against corruption still have...
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Corrupt and Illicit: Solidifying the Linkage
September 15th, 2010
Does legal corruption exist? Unfortunately yes, and it poses a major challenge to the anti-corruption fight. Friendship is hardly banned by law, but friendship between political leaders and business people can hurt credibility or legitimacy of the decisions of the former, when the latter make them friendly gifts or donations. The claim for transparency is also a claim for true accountability of the decision makers, whether in the political or in the business world. Informal and opaque networks often advance their financial interests by using the discrepancy between what is formally condemned by law and what would shock every honest...
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Life is Like a Box of Jenga Blocks
September 3rd, 2009
In the game Jenga, players take turns removing blocks from a tower and balancing them on top, creating a progressively taller, but also increasingly more unstable, structure as the game goes on. The gig is up when a player pulls out a final block and the whole structure collapses with a clatter of wooden bricks and screams of surprise. While the comparison is slightly simplistic, there are numerous ways that Jenga is just like the world’s current economic crisis. In the last few years, there have been many developments which in retrospect look like small blocks being pulled...
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