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View Diary: Thoughts on the Enron decision from an ex-Andersen guy (240 comments)

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  •  I have (9+ / 0-)

    that is sleazy, to be quite honest with you.  There is sleaze in any large organization and Andersen was no different.

    To be honest, it probably was a few pockets here and there, but that doesn't excuse top management from not knowing about it and not quashing it by getting rid of whoever did that.

    I know that in my area (State and Local Tax), we were not like that at all.  Probably b/c much of what we did was give advice on certain transactions and specific things - based on research, etc.

    But we have both moved on.  I am now at another firm and doing well (enough), and she went to law school, and is now at another accounting firm.

    But we are set back a few years in our careers, not to mention a whole lot wiser....

    •  Three Strikes (21+ / 0-)

      I would feel that Anderson got unjustly scapegoated--and that it's management brought it down. But then I remember that Anderson was involved in two major frauds before this (Sunbeam and Waste Management). If California can incarcerate a person for life for three drug busts, no matter how minor, it seems fair to give a corporate "legal person" "life" for three major strikes.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Thu May 25, 2006 at 10:57:44 AM PDT

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      •  Peregrine Systems (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joynow, nhwriter, Do Tell

        Is often referred to as San Diego's Enron. Andersen was their auditor, IIRC.

        Peregrine's former CEO is still awaiting his fate, but it's likely that jail time will be involved. I hope so. I lost money on that company, as did many employees.

        "Poverty or wealth can make all the differences in securing the substance or only the shadow of constitutional protections." -Wiley Rutlidge

        by asimbagirl on Thu May 25, 2006 at 01:21:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, that sounded harsh (10+ / 0-)

      I'm not saying I think you or your wife are guilty. I'm just saying that, if it weren't for the bad jury instructions, the Anderson conviction would have established a very necessary provision which held corporations liable for the crimes they commit.

      This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

      by emptywheel on Thu May 25, 2006 at 10:59:02 AM PDT

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      •  I hear you..... (13+ / 0-)

        and I really have utter contempt for Andersen management (have since even before that mess).  It is sometimes tough to say, "yes, we deserve what we got" as a firm when so many innocent people's lives are ruined.

        Especially (and I know this isn't the way to look at things) when others do the same and don't get punished.  Other Big accounting firms had their share of major issues, problems, lawsuits and settlements - some just as large too.

        And then you still see KPMG escaping the same fate even though what they did was arguably worse.  Ditto for corporations that skirt the laws, mines that don't fix the safety violations, etc.

        It just sucks that this was more than helped along by this administration....

        •  It's bigger and broader than that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          clammyc, paul2port
          I worked or temped at all of the Big Four plus Andersen from 1990-2000 in both Audit and Consulting. I saw a definite deterioration in standards and ethics during that time as the firms became more "corporatized".

          I heard about staff accountants cheating on the ethics portion of their CPA exams.

          I heard first-hand about consultants fleecing an audit client on technology services that weren't what the client needed, but were what the consultants had to sell and audit personnel looked the other way.

          I saw the line being blurred between the audit and consulting sides of the business, to the detriment of independance.

          The accounting firms only have one thing to sell and that is their integrity. Period. I'm genuinely sorry for the jobs lost. But the firms need a kick in the butt. And the over-consolidation of the first-tier firms is not good for society.

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