Shame for IEEE, Springer Verlag, ACM, AIP, WorldScientific, Taylor and Francis, Elsevier

For more than 8 years our blog has identified that IEEE, Springer Verlag, ACM, AIP (American Institute of Physics), WorldScientific (Singapore), Taylor and Francis, Elsevier conferences are fake, bogus, scam, sham, mock and predatory. Now we have additional Proofs:

Visit: http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

http://retractionwatch.com/2014/02/24/springer-ieee-withdrawing-more-than-120-nonsense-papers/

or google: IEEE 120 SCIgen Papers

The IEEE SCIgen Papers were 85 two years ago:
http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/71/35/55/PDF/0-FakeDetectionSci-Perso.pdf
Several Blogs (included netdriver.blogpost.com) reported this. In 2014, these SCIgen papers in IEEE were 120.

Let''s start with the IEEE SCIGen Fake Papers of 2009. What's happened in 2009:
In 2009, we had received the following email from a girl that was working in IARIA's secretariat.

IEEE Computer Society Press sent it in January 17 (2009) to all the IEEE Sponsored, Co-Sponsored Conferences as well as to conferences
that publish their Proceedings with IEEE CS Press. It is impressive how many IEEE conferences are based on a review on the Abstract!.


From: EButterfield@computer.org
to: EButterfield@computer.org
cc: ABurgess@computer.org,
John Walz: , Reisman, Sorel" , AStickley@computer.org, TBaldwin@computer.org, r.sterritt@ulster.ac.uk
date Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 4:03 AMsubject Confidential: Important CPS Message Regarding Fraudulent Machine-Generated Paper Submissions


TO: CPS Clients FROM: Evan Butterfield, Director of Products and Services RE: Fraudulent Machine-Generated Paper Submissions (CONFIDENTIAL) DATE: 16 January 2009

The IEEE Computer Society (CS) has evidence that multiple (IEEE) conferences are receiving machine-generated papers. In two cases, conferences have actually accepted an obviously fraudulent submission. This is a serious issue that threatens the credibility of your conference, the quality of the digital library, and the reputation of both the IEEE and CS. It requires your immediate attention. Please take this opportunity to ensure that your peer review processes are being followed, and adapt to any new requirements that may be communicated by the IEEE or the Computer Society. No conference published by CPS should rely on an abstract review. It is very important that you review carefully the full text of all papers submitted to your conference. If you have already accepted papers, your program committee should review the full text again. While CPS staff will be conducting random spot-checks of conference papers in the publishing queue, we are relying on you to authenticate the content of your proceedings. Any papers that were not actually presented at your conference need to be brought to our attention, and should receive close review. In known cases, the machine-generated origin is obvious from a reading of the first few paragraphs of the paper; the abstracts are human-generated and do not indicate the quality of the paper itself. In the past, papers have been submitted by “Herbert Schlangemann,” but be mindful that the perpetrator of this fraud will change the approach over time. In the event you discover any evidence of questionable content or behavior, please communicate that to us immediately along with an action plan for addressing the problem. Thank you for your help in maintaining the quality of our products.

END OF 2009 IEEE EMAIL

2/15/2008

October Astrophysics Conference in Maryland

October Astrophysics Conference in Maryland

The October Astrophysics Conference in Maryland is a series of topical conferences that are arranged each autumn by scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland. Each of the conferences is devoted to a single topic in astrophysics research, and is organized to elicit the free discussion of ideas.

The Conference is held at the University Conference Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

To subscribe to the electronic mailing list, send email to majordomo@atheena.gsfc.nasa.gov with the message subscribe maryland (your name).

2006: Radiation Backgrounds from the First Stars, Galaxies and Black Holes (October 9 - 11, 2006)
2005: Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Swift Era (November 29 - December 2, 2005)
2004: New Windows on Star Formation in the Cosmos (October 11-13, 2004)
2003: The Search for Other Worlds (October 13-14, 2003)
2002: The Emergence of Cosmic Structure (October 7-9)
2001: Two Years of Science With Chandra (September 5-7)
2000: Young Supernova Remnants (October 16-18)
1999: Cosmic Explosions (October 11-13)
1998: After the Dark Ages: When Galaxies Were Young (October 12-14)
1997: Accretion Processes in Astrophysical Systems: Some Like It Hot (October 13-15)
1996: Star Formations, Near and Far (October 14-16)
1995: Cosmic Abundances (October 9-11)
1994: Dark Matter (October 10-12)
1993: The Evolution of X-Ray Binaries.
1992: Back to the Galaxy.
1991: Testing the AGN Paradigm.
1990: After the First Three Minutes.

October Astrophysics Conference in Maryland

FROM: http://professorsagainstplagiarism.blogspot.com/

October Astrophysics Conference in Maryland

The October Astrophysics Conference in Maryland is a series of topical conferences that are arranged each autumn by scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland. Each of the conferences is devoted to a single topic in astrophysics research, and is organized to elicit the free discussion of ideas.

The Conference is held at the University Conference Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

To subscribe to the electronic mailing list, send email to majordomo@atheena.gsfc.nasa.gov with the message subscribe maryland (your name).

2006: Radiation Backgrounds from the First Stars, Galaxies and Black Holes (October 9 - 11, 2006)
2005: Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Swift Era (November 29 - December 2, 2005)
2004: New Windows on Star Formation in the Cosmos (October 11-13, 2004)
2003: The Search for Other Worlds (October 13-14, 2003)
2002: The Emergence of Cosmic Structure (October 7-9)
2001: Two Years of Science With Chandra (September 5-7)
2000: Young Supernova Remnants (October 16-18)
1999: Cosmic Explosions (October 11-13)
1998: After the Dark Ages: When Galaxies Were Young (October 12-14)
1997: Accretion Processes in Astrophysical Systems: Some Like It Hot (October 13-15)
1996: Star Formations, Near and Far (October 14-16)
1995: Cosmic Abundances (October 9-11)
1994: Dark Matter (October 10-12)
1993: The Evolution of X-Ray Binaries.
1992: Back to the Galaxy.
1991: Testing the AGN Paradigm.
1990: After the First Three Minutes.


http://professorsagainstplagiarism.blogspot.com/

BLACK HOLES

A team of scientists compared leading theories of jets produced by rotating supermassive black holes with Chandra data. A sampling of nine giant galaxies that exhibit large disturbances in their gaseous atmospheres showed that the central black holes in these galaxies must be spinning at near their maximum rates.
"We think these monster black holes are spinning close to the limit set by Einstein's theory of relativity, which means that they can drag material around them at close to the speed of light," said Rodrigo Nemmen, a visiting graduate student at Penn State University, and lead author of a paper on the new results presented at American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas.

The research reinforces other, less direct methods previously used which have indicated that some stellar and supermassive black holes are spinning rapidly.

According to Einstein's theory, a rapidly spinning black hole makes space itself rotate. This effect, coupled with gas spiraling toward the black hole, can produce a rotating, tightly wound vertical tower of magnetic field that flings a large fraction of the inflowing gas away from the vicinity of the black hole in an energetic, high-speed jet.

Computer simulations by other authors have suggested that black holes may acquire their rapid spins when galaxies merge, and through the accretion of gas from their surroundings.

"Extremely fast spin might be very common for large black holes," said co-investigator Richard Bower of Durham University. "This might help us explain the source of these incredible jets that we see stretching for enormous distances across space."

One significant connection consequence of powerful, black-hole jets in galaxies in the centers of galaxy clusters is that they can pump enormous amounts of energy into their environments, and heat the gas around them.

This heating prevents the gas from cooling, and affects the rate at which new stars form, thereby limiting the size of the central galaxy. Understanding the details of this fundamental feedback loop between supermassive black holes and the formation of the most massive galaxies remains an important goal in astrophysics.

Adapted from materials provided by Chandra X-ray Center, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

2/07/2008

Prestigious unaccredited university

by Vicky Phillips, CEO GetEducated.com, LLC

Earn your degree online from a prestigious unaccredited university!

"Prestigious unaccredited university?"

No such creature. Not online. Not anywhere. Accreditation is the highest mark of academic quality. Without accreditation a bogus online university can begin awarding degrees overnight. More than thirty bogus universities currently sell online degrees in the United States alone.

There is no reason to attend an unaccredited university online. Plenty of prestigious accredited universities are eager for your application. In 1989, when GetEducated.com began tracking accredited distance degrees, less than 50 were open to the public. That number now exceeds 750.

Why attend Bogus U. when Stanford, California State University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Maryland, among others, offer online degrees?

Before you enroll in a distance degree program, take the time to Get Educated � about distance learning degree mills.

What�s a Degree Mill?

Degree mills are bogus universities that sell college diplomas � the piece of paper itself rather than the educational experience.

A college degree is the second most expensive purchase people will make in their lifetime � second only to their home mortgage. Without a degree many career doors remain closed. For these reasons, the sale of bogus degrees has become big business.

GetEducated.com�s Top 10 Red Flags � Online Diploma Mills

  1. Your chosen university is not accredited.
  2. Your chosen university is accredited � but NOT by an agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, http://www.chea.org. The majority of Internet degree mills are "accredited." Problem is they are accredited by bogus agencies that they themselves have created. These bogus accrediting agencies often have prestigious sounding names. Contact CHEA for the names of valid accreditors in the USA.
  3. Admission criteria consist entirely of possession of valid Visa or MasterCard. Previous academic record, grade point average, and test scores are deemed irrelevant.
  4. You are offered a college degree based on a "review" of your faxed resume. Credit for career experience is a valid option at many universities that deal with adult learners. But the process of evaluating career experience for college credit is complex. No valid distance learning university in the USA will award a graduate degree (Master�s or Doctorate) based solely on a review of career experience. Undergraduate programs are more flexible. Accredited undergraduate programs typically limit credit for experience to a maximum of 10 courses or 30 semester credits. (One year of a four-year degree.) One notable exception is Thomas Edison State College of New Jersey. This publicly-funded distance learning university makes it possible for adult learners, in theory, to earn Associate or Bachelor degrees entirely through career portfolios, military and corporate training, and challenge exams.
  5. You are promised a diploma within 30 days of application regardless of your status upon entry. Degree mills are in the business of selling paper. Ergo, they�ll get that piece of paper to you as quickly as possible.
  6. You are promised a degree in exchange for a lump sum � typically $2,000 for an undergraduate degree, $3,000 for a graduate degree. Universities do not commonly charge flat fees. They typically charge per credit or per course tuition and fees.
  7. Your prospective online university has multiple complaints on file with the Better Business Bureau.
    The BBB records consumer complaints about online degree mills. Visit the BBB online at http://www.bbb.org.
  8. Your online "admission counselor" assures you that online universities can�t be accredited by CHEA recognized agencies.
    This is a lie.
  9. The school�s Web site either lists no faculty or lists faculty who have attended schools accredited by bogus agencies.
  10. The university offers online degrees almost exclusively to United States citizens but is conveniently located in a foreign country, quite often a tiny nation that lacks any system of academic accreditation. Don�t be fooled by online degree and diploma mills. Many maintain impressive web sites. All of them advertise heavily online. Look beyond flashy graphics for the name of the school�s accreditation agency. Take the time to verify accreditation by an agency that is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

WASHINGTON Today

WASHINGTON (AP) — Politicians have finally found an issue they all can agree on: Telemarketers calling at dinnertime are a scourge that must be repulsed.

Congress on Wednesday sent to President Bush two bills that would make permanent a program to protect consumers from unwanted phone calls from telemarketers. Its hallmark is the national "do not call" list.

"This initiative has proven to be one of the most popular laws in history," said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C. Extending the program was necessary "to avoid the wrath of millions of angry constituents."

The Do Not Call Registry, initiated in 2003, has been widely acclaimed for allowing Americans to eat their suppers in peace. Some 150 million people have listed their phones on the registry, which prohibits calls from telemarketers.

"I remember times we just used to take our phones off the hook," said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., a leader on the issue, recalling pre-registry days.

"Consumers without exception hate the annoyance of intrusive telemarketer calls at dinnertime," said Chris Murray, senior counsel for Consumers Union. "When nearly every American household has taken the time to register, that says something really strong."

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, put it in political terms: "With a 10% approval rating it is incumbent upon us to continue to pass legislation that is indeed popular."

The House passed by voice vote and sent to the president a bill to make permanent the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to collect fees to run the program. "My legislation keeps the program free, simple and effective for consumers," said Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., sponsor of the Senate bill.

Telemarketers pay annual fees of up to $17,050 and must search the registry every month and drop from call lists the phone numbers of consumers who have registered.

The Congressional Budget Office said the fees will bring in $107 million over the next five years. Consumers can remove their numbers from the list at any time.

The Senate later approved by a voice vote and sent to the White House a bill, promoted by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., to make the list permanent, overturning an FTC rule that people re-register their phone numbers every five years. The FTC reasoned that re-registering would update the list to account for people who move and switch their phone numbers. Critics argued that the list is already scrubbed each month of numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned to new customers.

David Certner, legislative policy director at AARP, said that some 50 million phone numbers could be dropped off the list in September without a change in a rule that most Americans are unaware of. The FTC has given assurances it would wait for congressional action before eliminating any numbers.

The AARP has been active on the issue from the beginning, Certner said, both because seniors are more susceptible to telemarketer fraud and may not have the mobility to answer repeated calls. "For some seniors these calls are more than just a minor inconvenience."

Violating the Do Not Call Registry subjects telemarketers to civil penalties up to $11,000 per violation. Last November the FTC announced nearly $7.7 million in settlements with six companies accused of calling people on the list.

In all, said Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., sponsor of the House's fee extension bill, the FTC has collected $25 million in civil penalties and relief for consumers.

Organizations engaged in charitable, political and survey work are exempt from the restrictions. Also, companies that have an established business relationship with a customer may call for up to 18 months after the last purchase, payment or delivery.

The pictures were disgusting,

First runner-up Helen Salas will assume the title and compete at the 2007 Miss USA pageant on March 23 in Los Angeles.

The shocking photos came hot on the fashionable heels of a scandal that rocked reigning Miss USA Tara Conner. The pics show Rees exposing her breasts, passionately kissing other young women, and simulating oral sex with females and a male.

"The pictures were disgusting," Miss USA co-owner Donald Trump told Larry King on CNN Thursday night. "These pictures were pretty far out there and that is not representative of Miss USA. We had no choice but to terminate her."

Rees insists the raunchy behaviour in the photos was "an isolated incident."

In a statement, she said: "While I take full responsibility for the photographs, I want everyone to know the truth. This was by no means representative of who I was, who I am, or who I will become. I have no intentions to disgrace the state of Nevada, the Miss Universe Organization, or Mr. Donald Trump."

Rees believes it was unfair of pageant officials to strip her of her crown.

"I am very embarrassed by the situation. Regardless, such a brief and distant lapse in judgment does not warrant my loss of the title I worked so hard to achieve," she said in her statement.

Rees, 22, was crowned Miss Nevada in Las Vegas in October and was due to represent the state in the Miss USA pageant next spring.

Earlier this month, she was the guest of honour at a Special Olympics bowling tournament and last month attended an event for underprivileged children. But Rees showed off a much wilder side in the pictures, taken during a party in Tampa, Florida when she was 19.

Last Tuesday, Trump announced that hard-partying Miss USA Tara Conner - accused of underage drinking, drug use and promiscuous behaviour - was going to enter rehab but will keep her title.

Multi-Trillion Dollar FINANCIAL SCANDAL

Multi-Trillion Dollar FINANCIAL SCANDAL


By David Podvin

MakeThemAccountable.com
2-4-2

"Immediately after business slave George W. Bush took power, Corporate America went on a lying spree. . . . Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings appear loath to report that such high profile companies as Viacom, General Electric, and Disney are also engaging in the accounting scheme. "

Missing The Overall

A multi-trillion dollar financial scandal is occurring in the United States right now. It threatens to inflict unprecedented carnage upon Corporate America and horrific damage to our national economy. The mainstream media is aware of it, but most Americans are not, because the corporate news outlets refuse to report on it.

It is not conspiracy.

It is complicity.

The coverage of the Enron situation has primarily focused on the disintegration of a powerful corporation due to the deceit and criminality of those who ran the company. The few reporters who have looked below the surface have proven linkage between Enronís corruption and its political connections to the Bush administration.

While the crimes of former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay and the collusion of former Texas governor George W. Bush are significant, the corporate media is selfishly choosing not to focus on the big story.

In February of 2001, Enron stock was trading above $80 per share, which placed a market value of more than $60 billion on the company. Today, the stock no longer trades, rendering Enron virtually worthless. It is crucial to remember that, despite the harrowing decline in its fortunes, the company never reported a bad earnings quarter.

Enronís duplicity is an extreme symptom of a financial cancer that threatens the health of the economy. The disease is a malignant accounting method that has received legal protection from conservative politicians on behalf of their corporate benefactors. It is called 'pro forma'. Originally intended to allow companies to compensate for extraordinary events that distorted their financial reports, the pro forma accounting method has led to the greatest fraud ever perpetrated.

Previously, publicly owned companies had been legally required to provide shareholders with an honest accounting of their earnings. The standard used was GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Under this method, a company would state its earnings based on the old fashioned equation of income minus expenses. Using pro forma, companies decide which expenses are ìrelevantî, thereby providing great latitude for creativity.

(GRAPH) S&P 500 GAAP EARNINGS AS A PERCENTAGE OF REPORTED EARNINGS Sources: Standard & Poor's, Thomson
financial /First Call

As shown above, immediately after business slave George W. Bush took power, Corporate America went on a lying spree. Freed from concerns about regulatory oversight, this countryís biggest companies became dramatically more ìcreativeî with their earnings reports. Current estimates for S&P 500 corporations are that they have collectively earned about $410 billion in 2001 when using the pro forma accounting method. However, when using GAAP, they have collectively earned about $240 billion.

Those who claim that Enron was an exceptional case are technically correct. While Enron overestimated its earnings by 100%, the average large publicly held American corporation is overestimating its earnings by only 42%.

IBM reports pro forma earnings. So does Intel. And Cisco Systems. And Dell. And Sun Micro. And Motorola. And Microsoft. And...

By engaging in such manipulation, with the assent of accountants and governmental oversight agencies, Corporate America has conned the public into investing trillions of dollars based on phony earnings. Cisco, for example, has used its artificially inflated stock price as capital to acquire other companies. Many corporate empires have been built on such accounting legerdemain, including General Electric (NBC), Viacom (CBS), Disney (ABC), AOL/Time Warner (CNN, Time Magazine), News Corporation (Fox), The Washington Post Company (Washington Post, Newsweek), the Tribune Corporation (Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times), and the New York Times Company (New York Times, Boston Globe).

Enron is the tip of an iceberg on which sits the entire mainstream media.

A national association of accounting firms has called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require all publicly held corporations to report real GAAP earnings. The return to ethical accounting standards would mean that, in order to reflect the current valuation of the Dow Industrials, the average would fall to 5825. In order to reach the historical norm based on GAAP, the Dow would decline to 3300.

A major decline in stock prices would erase trillions of dollars of investors' wealth. With the uninformed public currently heavily invested in the market, this would have a crushing impact on the finances of the average American.

In 1995, Senate Republicans and almost half of their Democratic colleagues joined to override President Clintonís veto of legislation providing corporations with protection from shareholder lawsuits. The leader of the effort to dramatically reduce civil liability for companies that report phony earnings was Wall Street lobbyist Harvey Pitt, who has made a career of defending the shady dealings of stock market thieves like Ivan Boesky.

Just as his father hid the magnitude of the savings and loan scandal until after the 1988 election, Bush is desperately trying to obscure the truth about Corporate Americaís financial sleight of hand in order to defer the tumbling of the house of cards until after the 2004 campaign. He expects to be helped in this effort by the man he appointed to be Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the one who is most responsible for seeing that corporations accurately report their earnings.

Harvey Pitt.

The powers that be are pulling out all the stops.

What they are fighting is the law of gravity. As the high powered executives at Enron learned, all the political machinations in the world canít prevent a stock from falling when the word gets out that the books have been cooked. After investors discover theyíve been scammed, they sell, and the mightiest of companies can be crushed. Less than a year ago, Enron was the seventh largest corporation in America. Today, it is no longer functioning as a business entity. It is, for all intents and purposes, dead.

The greatest legacy of the Enron debacle will be increased public pressure on companies to report their real earnings. If corporations are forced to be honest, then there will be shocking revisions in the financial statements of Americaís most prominent businesses.

The current situation is ascandal of almost incomprehensible magnitude, but it is not a conspiracy. For years, the disgrace of earnings manipulation has been an open, dirty little secret. Dissidents like the highly respected money managers at Comstock Partners (http://www.comstockfunds.com/) and brokerage analyst Alan Newman (http://www.cross-currents.net/charts.htm) have been screaming bloody murder about how Corporate America is cheating the public.

Their voices have not been amplified. Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings appear loath to report that such high profile companies as Viacom, General Electric, and Disney are also engaging in the accounting scheme.

The current reported level of corporate earnings is a mirage. The investing public has been taken for a magic carpet ride. The deceit of management, now so evident in the case of Enron, is endemic in corporate boardrooms across America. It is the massive impending economic fallout from that bitter reality which is the looming tragedy in this story.

While the media continues to focus on the microcosm of corruption at Enron, the public at large has yet to be informed of the epidemic of the earnings lies. As Deep Throat told Bob Woodward during the Watergate SCANDAL when the reporter was focusing on the criminal behavior of Nixon functionary Donald Segretti, "You're missing the big picture. You're missing the overall."

"This thing involves everybody."

Sources:

Accounting For Options (item 3), Chetan J. Parikh, Capital Ideas Online, May 31 - June 13, 1999 Issue

S&P P/E 37?!?!, Carl Swenlin, AegeanCapital Inc., August 3, 2001

Earnings Report Parodies, Comstock Partners, Inc., October 11, 2001

Smoke and Mirrors, Comstock Partners, Inc., August 22, 2001

How we got into this corporate mess, Dan Gillmor, TheDailyCamera.com, December 24, 2001

Spin on tech financial results comes under more scrutiny, Scott Herhold and Mary Anne Ostrom, SiliconValley.com, January 31, 2002

Disney Profit Beats Forecasts, Clouds Remain, Bob Tourtellotte, Reuters, January 31, 2002

Enron: Could your stock be next?, Paul R. La Monica, CNNMoney, November 30, 2001î

"William Fleckenstein, president of Fleckenstein Capital, a money-management firm in Seattle that engages in short selling, says that General Electric is a company that fits this description. Although Fleckenstein is not shorting GE (GE: down $1.23 to $38.50, Research, Estimates), he says that investors would be wise to stay away from the stock because of all its moving parts -- a mish-mash of different businesses in several countries reporting in a variety of currencies. ëIt's literally impossible to know what's going on there," he says.

"In response to this criticism, General Electric spokesman David Frail says, ëGE is no more difficult to understand than AOL Time Warner (the parent of CNN/Money.com) or any other multi-business company." [So true.]

Viacom beats Street, CNNMoney, October 25, 2000

News Corporation Reports Double Digit Film Operating Income Growth in First Quarter, Business Wire, November 7, 2001

Notes to Consolidated financial Statements, The Washington Post Company, 2000 Annual Report

As predicted, second-quarter results grim for newspapers, Tara McMeekin, Newspapers & Technology, September 2001

Wider loss for AOL Time Warner, Tribune News Services, January 31, 2002


Comment

From Paul Ator
2-6-2

Please share these comments with Mr. David Podvin

Here is a close friend's take on your 1/31 rense.com article after I drew it to his attention. He is a senior Senate staff aide whom we've known over 50 years. My own views and concerns may be closer to yours than to his, but we would both greatly appreciate your response to those he expresses below.

Paul

___

The article is rather off-putting because of the name-calling hyperbole. GAAP has not been abolished. Although I am not an accountant, the use of "pro forma" reporting does not abolish basic accounting or reporting principles.

The name of the game in business is the same as the name of the game in your dealings with the IRS and others. There is a clear difference between tax avoidance (where you don't pay a nickel more than you have to) and tax evasion (where you don't pay the nickel you are required to pay). I suspect that what happened here is what happens in the tax area.

There is black, there is white, and there are a thousand shades of gray. If one is overly conservative, one is a fool--and quite possibly liable for shareholder suits if one stays employed by the corporation that long. If one is overly aggressive, one is a fool--ditto for the above, plus possibly going to jail.

There is a rather obsessive concern in the U.S. with showing constantly improving short-term results. A corporation is judged by the market too often not only on whether it quarterly earning increased, but whether they beat the "estimate". It's as if the investors have willfully suspended normal common sense and really believe that everything is going to get better every day in every way, when it comes to corporate earnings. The world, I believe, does not work that way.

In order to cater to this, however, a great premium is placed on presenting balance sheets and earnings reports in the most favorable light. When a bank establishes loan loss reserves, it has to anticipate (and constantly re-evaluate) the collectibility of its loan portfolio. That is affected by a number of things, including the overall state of the economy. The bank regulators press the banks to assume the worst case scenario (so they don't overstate earnings); the tax authorities challenge any increase in the loan loss reserve on the grounds that the bank is trying to under-report its income for tax purposes.

Expressed more generally, corporations that are competing for market capital (investors) want to present the most rosy picture they can legally get away with. To do so, one must enter the gray area. If, in fact, a liability (such as a borrowing) can be moved off the balance sheet by properly attributing it to another entity, that will improve the picture.

My suspicion is that Enron/Andersen/V&E simply pushed the envelope too far. Having been there, I can add that Andersen and V&E were competing a bit, too, in terms of whose analysis of the likely outcome were it to go to litigation taking into account the IRS's likely appraisal of litigation risk, etc. If one says, "this will not work" too often, the client, it is feared, will go somewhere else to find someone who is willing to sign a document that says "this will probably work", so everyone is working the edge of the penumbra.

I think the characterisation of Bush as a "business-slave" is shabby and not particularly analytical. All our Presidents are, to one degree or another, "business slaves" because if the economy goes to hell in a handbasket (and it is business that drives the economy) they, and the country with them, accompany the handbasket.

I find the Enron debacle sad and tedious. If even half of the allegations prove true, there were violations of law that are fully prosecutable under existing law. The spectacle of law makers each trying to be more "outraged" than the other is just pitiful. If either party can pin responsibility for this on the other side it will represent yet another triumph of marketing over substance.

It rather intrigues me that so many people get so much press coverage for attacking the big bad corporations. As a business organization, the corporate form is neither good nor bad, except in terms of the extent to which it accomplishes the purposes of chosing that organizational form over proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, etc. It really does rather smack of rallying the troops against the fearful (but nonexistant) bogeyman.

As to the charge, in the article, that GE's books are complicated, one can only respond that it is a complicated enterprise, like most other large, multinational corporations, and that complexity is dictated, for the greater part, by the complex web of laws of various jurisdictions with which it must comply. Furthermore, if, in the course of complying with those laws, GE's accountants and lawyers are able to find a way to improve its earnings in a way that increases its market value (so the stock goes up) or its dividends, I am personally delighted as a small investor in the company.

I do not believe that a return to some atavistic Walden Two/Looking Backward utopian societal organization would be better for the human race or me personally. Take a hard look at the international news (I watched a sequence on Antenne 2 tonight in which a thief's hand was amputated under Islamic law in Nigeria and a segment on DeutscheWelle concerning the continuing tribulations in Macedonia) and I don't think either of those places, seemingly devoid of the tribulations of having to cope with multinational corporate accounting problems, is a civilization in which I would want to live or to have my grandchildren grow up.

Good Morning.

http://anti-plagiarism-org.blogspot.com/

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