May 31, 2002

We counted on you to stop us from cooking our own books! That's what auditors are paid to do!

Blame the Accountant By Michael Kinsley

It would have been fun to be a fly on the wall that day in April when Halliburton Co. fired the firm of Arthur Andersen as its auditor. Although the year is not yet half over, this one will be hard to top as Best Capt. Renault Moment of 2002. Like the Claude Raines character in Casablanca, the company apparently was "shocked, shocked" to learn what Andersen had been up to.... One imagines the scene: an orgy of self-righteousness. "You despicable swine!" these companies shriek at the trembling, cowering number-crunchers. "How dare you sully the sacred title of auditor? We counted on you to stop us from cooking our own books. That's what auditors are paid to do. If you're going to look the other way and then shred documents to cover up our misbehavior, there's no telling the terrible things we might do. Shame on you, Arthur Andersen. Shame! Shame!..." Posted by DeLong at May 31, 2002 05:36 PM | TrackBack

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