Chapter 6. Osama Bin Andersen: The Role of the Accountants


  • EBIT—. Earnings before irregularities and tampering

  • CEO—. Chief embezzlement officer

  • CFO—. corporate fraud officer

  • NAV—. normal Anderson valuation

  • P/E—. parole entitlement

  • EPS—. eventual prison sentence

One of the most unexpected results of the current turmoil in the financial services sector is the sudden public prominence of a profession long regarded as staid and uninteresting by most Americans. According to a widely told story, Osama bin Laden sadly told his confidants, “If I’m to do real damage to America, I’ve got to give up terrorism and become an accountant.”

Why has this happened? In brief, it’s because during the past decade America’s top accounting firms ...

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