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The Big “Regulation” Joke

laughing.jpgEditor’s Note: Want more JDA? You can see all of her posts for GC here, her blog here and stalk her on Twitter.
In an uncharacteristic move by one of our favorite accounting professors, Prof Albrecht went off on regulation over at The Summa yesterday and personally, JDA was stoked.
The Economic and Regulatory Shadow is recommended in its entirety but here’s a juicy tidbit for you to suck on:

It is frustrating to be an accounting professor and to live in the United States of America. A mind set that triumphs the interests of corporations and auditors over those of investors is entrenched in the regulatory shadow. Consequently, any policies that might favor populist policies have little chance of success.

The federal government’s financial and economic regulatory apparatus is comprised of the Treasury Department (Treasury), the Federal Reserve (Fed), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The top positions are political appointees, but the bulk of the work is performed by career and long-term personnel. It is a lot like the situation at the State Department (State), Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Know what’s really funny about Professor Albrecht’s timing? The Fed is facing this same regulatory dilemma, even if major financial bloggers missed the point over the weekend. Sure, they care about the spectre of an audit but mostly right now they don’t want the President being the one who puts regional Fed presidents in their positions. I don’t blame them for tripping on that.
So? Our dear Professor has gone out on one hell of a limb here, nearly unheard of when it comes to accounting professionals. The glossy marketing materials CPAs outnumber those who keep it real like Francine, Dennis, Skeptical CPA, and now Professor Albrecht but we’re making progress (he did always get the IFRS thing so this isn’t really all that surprising of a position).
I’m constantly thrilled to see outrage. Maybe that’s because I’m a shit-disturber but I think it is about time the industry get worked into a lather over perceived imbalances in the very regulatory system that we have to tip-toe around. All that tedious stuff you little CPAs do each and every day? It means nothing without the backbone of a regulatory system and as Professor Albrecht so astutely points out, we are sort of lacking in that department these days.
And? WTF are we supposed to do about that? Heads down and keep ticking and tying, kids, there’s not much else to do at this point.