I’m kidding of course, but it has been a pretty interesting month and a half I will admit.
Thank you to everyone who wrote out of concern, thinking that some angry insurance executives might have had me “clipped”, but I’ve just been busy. I’m actually still pretty busy but thought I’d pop my head back above ground and see what is going on out there in the world.
First things first, I am already working on a newsletter and with some luck it will be sent out at the beginning of next week.
With regard to the story on insurance accounting scandal, my work was pretty much completed for the company I focused on as of March 27th and I’ve been in continuous contact with the fantastic reporter who is covering it. It’s obviously a complex story, as most accounting related stories are, and I feel fortunate to have connected with an extremely bright guy how loves the nuts and bolts and details that make up a story like this. I’m confident he is going to do a great job and it will be nice (for a change) for one of these scandals to be revealed by the media, rather than covered by them after the fact.
So I have been (and will continue to) maintain quiet and let the actual media cover the story and I understand them wanting to make certain of all the facts before going public with a multibillion dollar scandal. So in the meantime I did some of my own investigating and took a close look at 91 other insurance companies as well as assorted other financial institutions. It is quite amazing how easy it is for me to spot what strike me as grevious errors and worse in the reporting of so many companies. Billions dollar issues are a dime a dozen and the fact that auditors, executives, rating agencies and regulators don’t even seem to notice the difference is simply astounding to me . I also think that a large part of the reason that we’re in the economic ditch we find ourselves is exactly BECAUSE no one really understands what in the hell is going on. Truthfully, it is really my opinion that the executives and directors of these companies aren’t blatantly trying commit fraud (or at least most of them), but that they take a leap of faith and put their signatures on the financials of their company and hope they truly are accurate. It is also my opinion that most of them, including the CFO’s, don’t have a clue about most of what’s contained in their statements and therein lies the danger for themselves and for the economy. “They don’t know what they don’t know”.
I’ll certainly write more and tell you the story when I feel the time is appropriate.
But much has gone on in the world since I last wrote a post here including the excitement this weekend in Times Square. It was lovely to find out is was a guy from Connecticut too. What is always fun about any story like this is when the media start poking around with neighbors to see if anyone could have seen this coming. Here’s my favorite information from a story I read this morning:
Shahzad’s behavior sometimes seemed odd to his neighbors, and he surprised a real estate broker he hardly knew with his outspokenness about President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.
“He mentioned that he didn’t like Bush policies in Iraq,” said Igor Djuric, who represented Shahzad in 2004 when he was buying a home.
Djuric said he couldn’t remember the exact words Shahzad used about Bush but “something to the effect of he doesn’t know what he’s doing and it’s the wrong thing that he’s doing.”
“I don’t know if he mentioned 9/11,” Djuric said, “but something like that, Iraq has nothing to do with anything.”
Didn’t like Bushes policies in Iraq? Bush doesn’t know what he’s doing? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11?
Well I suppose we’d better immediately arrest John Kerry, Barrack Obama and about 150 million Americans if these sorts of feelings are the sign of probable terrorist activity. Good grief is all I can say. If this is the best the media can offer us on what was going on in this moron’s head I think I’d rather know nothing at all. And if you think my moron comment relates to his luckily poor bomb building skills, you’d be wrong. Now understand that I’m not a professional terrorist or anything, but if I had just parked an SUV that was traceable to me parked in the middle of Times Square filled with any sort of explosives, I might have waved down a taxi moments after locking the Pathfinder’s doors and headed straight to JFK for my flight to Dubai. I don’t think I would have waited until days later when the evening news was reporting that the FBI and CIA were looking for a naturalized Pakistani male as a suspect.
So watch for a newsletter next week and for me to become more active in here again. I also have some great sessions coming up in New York this month. You can check them out at the below links:
Mortgage & Asset Backed Securities
–May 17 & 18, 2010
Securities Operations, Processing & Accounting
–May 24 & 25, 2010
Fixed Income Calculations & Principles
–May 26 & 27, 2010
You can also view all my 2010 sessions at the following link: