Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book & Brief Commentary: Greed and Corporate Failure

Published in 2006 by Stewart Hamilton & Alicia Micklethwait, Greed and Corporate Failure  provides readers with insightful case studies on some of the largest corporate scandals of our time including Barings and Allied Irish Bank, Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Marconi, Swissair, Royal Ahold, and Parmalat. 

What I find most interesting is that the recommendations provided in this book (from 2006) are the same as those made today such as the need to reform executive compensation, auditing firms, investment banks, etc. Furthermore, as discussed in my interview with Charles Lundelius, many problems brought up over 20 years ago in the 1987 Treadway Report were extremely similar to those issues mentioned in Sarbanes-Oxley.

The book notes a passage from A Short History of Financial Euphoria by J.K. Galbraith..."There can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance". Why is this true?

Perhaps our focus should be on being proactive rather than reactive to these problems because as Bethany McLean stated in a recent interview, "One of the thing Wall Street does is while we're all looking over here, they're already onto the next thing. We're all still looking back (at regulating CDOs, CDSs, etc.) and they [Wall Street] are onto the next big thing". 

Hope you enjoy the book. Feel free to send me an email at sleightfraud @ with any comments.

- Nadine

Click Here to Read: Greed and Corporate Failure

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