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Financial Shenanigans, Fourth Edition: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports, 4th Edition by Yoni Engelhart, Jeremy Perler, Howard M. Schilit

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25 Years of Shenanigans

In early 2001, Joe Nacchio, the CEO of Qwest Communications, stood onstage at a companywide meeting and delivered a rousing speech intended to energize his team and focus them on his priorities for the company. “The most important thing we do is meet our numbers,” Nacchio declared. “It’s more important than any individual product, it’s more important than any individual philosophy, it’s more important than any cultural change we’re making. We stop everything else when we don’t make the numbers.” Through his words and deeds, Joe Nacchio created a culture that resulted in $2.5 billion of phantom earnings, landing himself in federal prison and devastating investors who saw the stock price tumble by 97 percent in the 18 ...

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