Thursday, April 01, 2010

Lehman's Demise and Repo 105: No Accounting for Deception - Knowledge@Wharton

A great article from Knowledge@Wharton:

Lehman's Demise and Repo 105: No Accounting for Deception - Knowledge@Wharton:
"Among the report's most disturbing revelations, according to Wharton finance professor Richard J. Herring, is the picture of Lehman's accountants at Ernst & Young. 'Their main role was to help the firm misrepresent its actual position to the public,' Herring says, noting that reforms after the Enron collapse of 2001 have apparently failed to make accountants the watchdogs they should be.

'It was clearly a dodge.... to circumvent the rules, to try to move things off the balance sheet,' says Wharton accounting professor professor Brian J. Bushee, referring to Lehman's Repo 105 transactions. 'Usually, in these kinds of situations I try to find some silver lining for the company, to say that there are some legitimate reasons to do this.... But it clearly was to get assets off the balance sheet.'"

And people are surprised by this because why????


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