Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our beans

Madoff confessed. Consider how long it may have taken to catch him otherwise. Then, he's been living in luxury as some people scramble to see what is what and as others suffer the consequences. It's been awhile, and he is still not charged. Why?

Oh, is it a reward for fessin' up?

Well, these things can get complicated. There is a reason that the world of business requires trust. Some, perhaps many, take advantage of the situation (below). So, consider that the whole business game has evolved into a stinky mess. We do need more insightful oversight which we'll define.

But, first, quoting Morrill Goddard (an editor of a rag) from 1935 (see Note 1): The truth, which the public has never been told, is that no practical institution can be thoroughly checked so that every transaction is verified, except at prohibitive time and cost.

That quote was found in a 1967 book on Cost Accounting (Chapter on Internal Control). What is the modern view?

Well, we have SOX. What did that do for the current bubble? And, now we hear that there will be a regulatory overhaul. That is good; yet, what chance is there of getting it right?

This is an interesting subject that will be to the forefront for awhile due to its importance. The solution lies with truth engines; as well, techniques like an analog of random drug testing will be required.

Now, Goddard used 'prohibitive' which we all know is relative to many things. Granted, some of these problems will be intractable. But, assessing the market is not such. Rather, it is a matter of choices; of these, one approach would put ethics on a higher plane of relevance.

Yes, the old hat of greed and the other supposed traits of the best-and-brightest do not cut it.


Note 1: Goddard, Morrill. What Interests People and Why NY, Published Privately, 1935, 1st Edition, Hardcover. 6.75"X 9.5", 179pp, Fine. Full leather cover with bright gilt design and lettering, top edge gilt. No jacket as issued. Six addresses by the former. editor of the American Weekly, revealing the workings of his editorial formula and technique that built the greatest circulation in the world. Clean, crisp pages, bright and tight. Excellent condition! Journalism, Psychology, Human Interest (#004456).


01/19/2011 -- The quirks of capitalism are rank, not by necessity.

08/18/2009 -- As promised, FEDaerated is here.

07/17/2009 -- China has eaten our lunch (and dinner). Shows how silly our games are. Yet, finance can be run by people who can be non-profit in scope and who have an impeccable (oh, what quaintness!) un-interest in money.

06/17/2009 -- Michael Milken says that structure counts (see WSJ article). Remember, the theme here is that a lot of securitization is bunk, many times. Sheesh, talk about a perpetual motion machine, always moving monies from the pockets of the hapless to that of the fat cats.

04/17/2009 -- Minsky and the facts of ephemeral value are a couple of topics on the list.

03/30/2009 -- The WSJ today looks at the Future of Finance. The idea is that finance is like the cardiovascular system. Okay. So leeches are a good metaphor for the sucking out that we see. Like the AIG guy who was central to the losses that we the taxpayers are paying and who left with $300M. We'll be referring back to this discussion.

03/19/2009 -- How do we get the silliness out of the disciplines?

03/12/2009 -- Of course, Madoff finally went to jail today. Also, USA Today said it right in an editorial today. The SEC went from a watchdog to a lapdog. When a watchdog, accumulation of wealth would tip off the SEC of a need for an audit. One can make a claim, which we'll attempt here soon, that too much building of the pocket contents is a characteristic of fraud. As a lapdog, the SEC seemed to salivate and wag its tail at mass accumulators.

Modified: 04/03/2011

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