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November 2010
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December 2010

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The UK Bribery Act I previously blogged about the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Justice Department and SEC's expanded investigations of possible bribe payments in connection with contracts Hewlett Packard obtained in Russia. The payments may have violated the Act that prohibits persons, entities, and certain foreign... Read more →

Audit Committees

Audit Committees and Corporate Governance In the aftermath of accounting scandals at companies such as Enron and WorldCom, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that strengthens corporate governance mechanisms. One important requirement is for the audit committee of the board of directors to be completely independent of management. In the accounting... Read more →

Business Fraud

Cost of Fraud in Business Organizations In my last blog I wrote about the ever-increasing cost to society of criminal fraud that targets investors. Fraud in business organizations also seems to be on the rise despite all efforts to reduce it following well-publicized accounting frauds at Enron and WorldCom. According... Read more →

What is Ethics?

Defining Ethics I have been blogging about ethics for some time so it is reasonable to ask what is my perspective on ethics? The term ethics is derived from the Greek word ethikos which itself is derived from the Greek word ethos, meaning custom or character. In philosophy, ethical behavior... Read more →

Don't ask, don't tell

The Ethics of don't ask, don't tell Regardless of your position on gay marriage, I believe we all should be appalled at the continuation of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy because it sanctions lying and deceitful conduct while discriminating against those who march to the beat of a... Read more →

Payroll Tax Cut

Will Tax Cuts Spur the Economy? By now you've heard about the plan to cut the payroll tax on employees that funds Social Security and Medicare by 2%. Once again the fiscal irresponsibility of those in Congress and President Obama shines through any effort to get control of federal spending... Read more →

Government's Stepped-up Efforts to Curb Fraud

Looking at Criminal Fraud On Monday, December 6, 2010, the Justice Department charged hundreds of people in criminal and civil financial fraud cases in an effort to cut down on investment scams such as Ponzi schemes. The Bernie Madoff affair is the "mother of all Ponzi schemes" as I previously... Read more →

Horizon Deep Water Oil Spill

BP Revisited On December 2, 2010 the staff of the presidential commission looking into the Horizon Deepwater oil spill issued a report critical of the way federal inspectors handled their role in dealing with what has become the largest oil spill in U.S. history. While some safety experts investigating the... Read more →


International Accounting Standards For almost 40 years a movement has been underway to establish one set of international accounting standards for all countries around the world in order to facilitate international trade and investment. Since it is no longer unusual to have foreign companies list their stock on the New... Read more →