Public accounting could learn a thing or two from Wall Street. What if we treated the PCAOB like Goldman Sachs does the CFTC and the Treasury? Can you imagine PwC partners dispatched into high-profile regulatory positions doing the dirty work for them? We’d save millions in intern fees (oh wait) since no one would have to run a single shredder.
Case in point, the head of the CFTC (who used to work at Goldman) says, “I believe that position limits should be consistently applied and vigorously enforced. Position limits promote market integrity by guarding against concentrated positions.” And what does he do? Block GS competitors with federal limits while letting his friends run wild in commodities futures. We need one of those on our team!
More, after the jump
Oh wait a minute, we already have that! And it gets better, not only does his work history read “E&Y”, he used to be on Fed payroll as well. Double winner – this is the guy you want heading up the audit board? That’s laughable.
Mark W. Olson was recently appointed head of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board by Chris Cox, SEC Commissioner. This ends months of uncertainty about leadership at the PCAOB or Peekabo as it is popularly known. Mr. Olson was a Governor at the Federal Reserve Board.
In fact, the PCAOB chair’s wife probably hangs out with Goldman wives. A quick glance at his resume reveals the sorts of circles Mr Olson travels in; future partners of Big 4 firms might start setting their goals right about now if they’re trying to out-schmooze this guy.
So if you believe Wall Street and the auditors are that different, you’re wrong. No one is going to call Deloitte the vampire squid but it might be a good idea if we started looking at our own questionable regulatory ties. Perhaps accounting can learn a thing from Wall Street before it hits us like it has them?
And who is letting things go to hell?
Now that Olson has abandoned the PCAOB for bigger and better things, we can only hope his mustachioed replacement and those who come after continue the tradition of questionable business associations set forth by our friends at Goldman Sachs and of course the Big 4. Life just wouldn’t be the same without it.