Thursday, March 27, 2008

Smells Like ENRON, Doesn't It?

The New York Times informs us this day that the fickle finger of culpability in the collapse of New Century Financial-a house of mortgage plungers that became a house of cards-is pointed straight at the accountants.

It seems that KPMG, rather than being something of a restraint, connived in suggesting accounting practices that could mask New Century's financial rot-at least until the smart money bailed, which is probably what happened. Some folks in KPMG hoisted the storm warnings, but they were taken down by partners who didn't want to lose a paying client.

In the event, New Century went tits up last year in the first stages of the sub-prime mortgage collapse.

One of my old man's frequent observations on mankind was "That sonuvabitch doesn't know the value of an honest dollar." It wasn't until I was out on my own, working in factories and mills and in the cab of a wrecker and underneath VW Beetles and behind the counter of an auto parts store that I understood it in terms of sweat and cold and dirt and oil and mashed knuckles.

The old man knew. He'd grown up in south Florida during the Depression on a boat and didn't live on dry land until he went away to college-where he worked and ROTC'd his way through MIT. He learned the value of a dollar through heat and fish guts and shooting rabbits with a .22 for dinner and catching rattlers for Ross Allen at five cents a foot. He never forgot it either.

I really do think that there are a lot of people who could learn a lot by actually seeing and feeling what it takes to earn money, rather than by moving it around through legerdemain and sleight of hand.

Right now there's no connection.They've forgotten Yahweh's admonition to Adam:
Still thou shalt earn thy bread with the sweat of thy brow, until thou goest back into the ground from which thou wast taken.


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