Republicans Blocked Clinton's Audit Reforms

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New York Times July 25, 2002

Clinton Says Republicans Blocked His Audit Reforms

By DAVID M. HALBFINGER

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., July 24 Former President Bill Clinton today hailed his own efforts to increase the oversight of corporate governance and criticized Republicans and Harvey L. Pitt, currently the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying they had frustrated Mr. Clinton's efforts at reform.

He said Republicans thus deserved some of the blame for the current flight of foreign capital from United States markets.

Asked about President Bush's handling of the economy and his attempts to rally investor confidence, Mr. Clinton, who was touring the construction site of his presidential library here, avoided criticizing his successor directly. Instead, he chided Republicans, who he said had blocked his administration's efforts to, among other things, bar accounting firms from working as auditors and consultants for the same companies.

"I'm sure that some of the people in Congress that stopped a lot of the reforms I tried to put through are probably rethinking that now," Mr. Clinton told reporters.

"Arthur Levitt, my Securities and Exchange commissioner, tried to stop the Enron accounting issues using the same accounting company being consultant and accountant and the Republicans stopped it." Later, Mr. Clinton added that Republicans had fought Mr. Levitt's effort, "and Harvey Pitt was the leader trying to stop us from ending those kind of abuses. That is a matter of record." Mr. Pitt, who was a securities lawyer before being appointed by President Bush to head the S.E.C., counted accounting firms, including Arthur Andersen, among his clients.

When asked if he agreed with senators and representatives who have called for Mr. Pitt's resignation, Mr. Clinton demurred. "I don't have to make those decisions anymore," he said.

Mr. Clinton also said he had been overridden by Republicans when he vetoed a securities-industry bill he said would have "basically cut off investors from being able to sue if they were getting the shaft." And he recalled that his Treasury secretary, Lawrence H. Summers, had tried to crack down on the use of offshore accounts to conceal corporate financial information, but that Senator Phil Gramm of Texas "and other Republicans stopped that."

"And that is one of the things that has caused all the European money to leave the markets, because they see that the government is in the hands of the party that stopped all of this stuff," Mr. Clinton said. "And so I think they've got a burden on their hands, and they seem to be trying to turn it around. We'll see."

Mr. Clinton again criticized Republicans in the White House and Congress when he was asked about investor confidence, suggesting that they ask the opinions of market-moving investors like George Soros and Warren E. Buffett. Those investors, Mr. Clinton said, disapproved of last year's tax cut and "knew it was a mistake to start running deficits again, that it would run long-term interest rates up and again undermine confidence."

But Mr. Clinton said the underlying American economy would "reassert itself sooner or later."

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/25/business/25CLIN.html?ex=1028174400&en=dd345505ee415167&ei=5006&partner=ALTAVISTA1

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 25, 2002

Answers

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/25/business/25CLIN.html

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 25, 2002.

Bush opens his mouth

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 25, 2002.

"We would never have cooked books if Clinton had not set an 'anything goes' tone for the nation", says Arthur Anderson

by David M. Stinkfinger

July 25, 2002

"When Clinton flaunted Monica in America's face, we knew there were no more rules", said America's most famous accountant. "It's 'Katie, bar-the-door time'. We tore off our hated green eye-shades and threw all the books we could find into a massive cast-iron lobster pot and jist cooked and cooked and cooked".

"Gawd, it was fun to live a little! Do you have any idea what a strain it is to be an accountant when you know the rest of the world is party, party, party?"

"Thank you Bill for liberating us! Never again will we take our sacred trusts too seriously. Yeeeeha"

-- (Financial News@NT.Times), July 25, 2002.


A little accounting humor:

How do you tell an extroverted accountant?

He is the one that looks at the other person's shoes while conversing.

-- (roland@hatemail.com), July 25, 2002.


Cherri, that website is pretty good. A little overdrawn perhaps, but pretty good.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), July 25, 2002.


hmmm

Office of the Chief Accountant:
Regarding Auditor Independence
Letter to Arthur Andersen & Co., 1990

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C 20549

June 20, 1990

Mr. Robert Mednick |
Arthur Andersen & Co.
69 W. Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Dear Mr. Mednick:

The staff has reviewed the April 18, 1990 submission by Mr. Harvey Pitt, on behalf of Arthur Andersen & Co., titled "Business Relationships Between Andersen Consulting and Audit Clients of Arthur Andersen & Co." Based upon the facts presented in that submission, but without necessarily agreeing with Mr. Pitt's legal and factual analysis, and upon various oral representations made by representatives of Arthur Andersen (AA) and Andersen Consulting (AC) as noted below, the Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) will not object to AA's conclusion that a business relationship between AC and an audit client of AA that is structured as described in the submission may be considered an indirect business relationship between AA and the audit client for purposes of applying the Commission's independence requirements. In that case, AA's independence with respect to that client would not be considered by the staff to be impaired, solely as the result of such a business relationship that is not material to AA, AC, or the audit client. In this connection, the staff especially notes representations that: Arthur Andersen & Co., for a valid business purpose, has undergone a substantive restructuring, effective September 1989; AC is an Illinois partnership separate from AA with its own partners, management, employees, leases, business, substantive capitalization, and substantive separate client base; AA and AC will establish separate corporate images, through advertising and the differing nature of the services offered by each; neither AA nor AC will exercise significant influence over the others operating, financial, or accounting policies; and the economic impact of any particular business relationship between AC and an audit client of AA would be clearly de minimis to AA. AA and AC also have represented that AC will comply with the Commission's other independence requirements.

Because OCA's position is based upon the representations made to the staff, it should be noted that any different facts or conditions might require a different conclusion. In taking this position, the staff emphasizes the importance of a careful and cautious analysis of materiality considerations to AA, AC, and the audit client, including consideration of both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of materiality.

OCA's position is based upon the Commission's current independence interpretations. As you know, the staff is in the process of reviewing those interpretations. This study may include a general review of the effects of firms' structures on the classification of direct versus indirect business relationships, and on other relationships with audit clients. (this is where the SEC, under Bush sr. started lowering the standards for independant auditing)

Sincerely,

Edmund Coulson
Chief Accountant

Cc:
Harvey L. Pitt, Esq.
Fried, Frank, Harris,
Shriver & Jacobson
Suite 800
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004-2505

SEC Ruling on the SEC website




-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 25, 2002.


hmmm

Office of the Chief Accountant:
Regarding Auditor Independence
Letter to Arthur Andersen & Co., 1990

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C 20549

June 20, 1990

Mr. Robert Mednick |
Arthur Andersen & Co.
69 W. Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Dear Mr. Mednick:

The staff has reviewed the April 18, 1990 submission by Mr. Harvey Pitt, on behalf of Arthur Andersen & Co., titled "Business Relationships Between Andersen Consulting and Audit Clients of Arthur Andersen & Co." Based upon the facts presented in that submission, but without necessarily agreeing with Mr. Pitt's legal and factual analysis, and upon various oral representations made by representatives of Arthur Andersen (AA) and Andersen Consulting (AC) as noted below, the Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) will not object to AA's conclusion that a business relationship between AC and an audit client of AA that is structured as described in the submission may be considered an indirect business relationship between AA and the audit client for purposes of applying the Commission's independence requirements. In that case, AA's independence with respect to that client would not be considered by the staff to be impaired, solely as the result of such a business relationship that is not material to AA, AC, or the audit client. In this connection, the staff especially notes representations that: Arthur Andersen & Co., for a valid business purpose, has undergone a substantive restructuring, effective September 1989; AC is an Illinois partnership separate from AA with its own partners, management, employees, leases, business, substantive capitalization, and substantive separate client base; AA and AC will establish separate corporate images, through advertising and the differing nature of the services offered by each; neither AA nor AC will exercise significant influence over the others operating, financial, or accounting policies; and the economic impact of any particular business relationship between AC and an audit client of AA would be clearly de minimis to AA. AA and AC also have represented that AC will comply with the Commission's other independence requirements.

Because OCA's position is based upon the representations made to the staff, it should be noted that any different facts or conditions might require a different conclusion. In taking this position, the staff emphasizes the importance of a careful and cautious analysis of materiality considerations to AA, AC, and the audit client, including consideration of both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of materiality.

OCA's position is based upon the Commission's current independence interpretations. As you know, the staff is in the process of reviewing those interpretations. This study may include a general review of the effects of firms' structures on the classification of direct versus indirect business relationships, and on other relationships with audit clients. (this is where the SEC, under Bush sr. started lowering the standards for independant auditing)

Sincerely,

Edmund Coulson
Chief Accountant

Cc:
Harvey L. Pitt, Esq.
Fried, Frank, Harris,
Shriver & Jacobson
Suite 800
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004-2505

SEC Ruling on the SEC website




-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 25, 2002.


Sorry

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 25, 2002.

Seems to me I mentioned this in an earlier thread and some asshole pug said it was bullshit. Let's see, I think that was you, wasn't it Lars?

-- (the@truth.revealed), July 25, 2002.

I do remember saying "bullshit" to something but I don't remember what it was. Do you have the link? If I was wrong, I will certainly own up to it. "Asshole pugs" are persons of hiogh moral character that admit to their infrequent mistakes.

-- (lars@indy.net), July 25, 2002.


Here is the link. click here

http://www.sec.gov/info/accountants/noaction/aaartan2.htm

It is in the SEC website archives. Look at the second link, it was from a year earlier turning down the request, and referenced many rules to justify that decision. Something which was not done a year later when George Bush sr. appointed his own choice to head the SEC. click me

http://www.sec.gov/info/accountants/noaction/aaartan1.htm

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 27, 2002.


"Too much info", Cherri. I was looking for the link where I said "bullshit". I don't deny saying but I don't recall the context.

-- (lars@indy.net), July 27, 2002.

Best said, probably.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), July 27, 2002.

You got off easy this time Lars. It appears that Unk has engaged in some censorship by deleting the 2 threads "Nice Going Dumbya" and "Nice Going Dumbya Part 2", even though there was nothing obscene or offensive about them. They were simply postings of current factual news articles, followed by opinion of forum participants. Perhaps Unk deleted them because Roloboy or some other troll attacked them with pornography? Or maybe he just didn't want to face the not-so-flattering truth about Dumbya, since Unk has in the past come across as more of a Bush supporter than a true Libertarian.

-- (welcome back @ diane squire. *sigh*), July 27, 2002.

There are Libertarians that shade to the Left and Libertarians that shade to the Right. If Unk preferred Bush to Gore that doesn't mean he is not a Libertarian.

But, like Z, Unk can speak for himself.

-- (lars@indy.net), July 27, 2002.



A true Libertarian acknowledges the faults with the Democrat/Repug system, exposes the problems with politicians in these parties, and promotes the solutions offered by the Libertarian party. A true Libertarian woudn't support the Repugs and censor freedom of speech by deleting threads which expose Dumbya's faults.

-- Harry Browne (the man @ Libertarian. party), July 27, 2002.

Are you talking to Unk?

-- (lars@indy.net), July 27, 2002.

LOL! Do you see Unk's name anywhere on this thread? I was responding to you dimwit!

-- sheesh (get@with.it), July 27, 2002.

I never claimed to be a "true Libertarian", dimmerwit.

-- (lars@indy.net), July 27, 2002.

There you go doing it again. Obsessing about Clinton's lovely dillywacker. You Repugs need help.

-- What is it (about@Clinton's.member?), July 28, 2002.

"I never claimed to be a "true Libertarian""

Thank God for that, maybe there is hope for their party afterall.

-- (Dumbya is just right @ for. you), July 28, 2002.


*you* are a Libertarian? Do Libertarians have paper assholes?

-- (roland@hot to trot.mail), July 28, 2002.

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