Thursday, March 5, 2009

Where were the auditors?

So today I went to my local credit union for a routine bank business trip. While I was there I noticed a group of people huddled over piles of papers in an office near the front lobby.

I asked a manager what all the commotion was about and she said it was simply a routine audit, one they undergo at least twice every 18 months. OK, that's a good idea, but it got me to thinking.

Who the heck were the auditors for AIG and Lehman Brothers and, well you name the big named banks and insurance companies who suddenly have no money and need our help?

Are auditors accountable for what they observe and sign off on? Certainly some auditor noticed something amiss well before last September when Treasury Secretary "Chicken Little" Paulson told us the sky was falling.

So Congress and Bush scrambled to throw a pile of newly printed billions at the problem, and Voila!, it again disappeared. So where are the auditors anyway?

Here's my little credit union, still solvent and loaning money by the way, undergoing massive audits twice a year and no doubt having to make corrections or modifications, while the massive financial institutions in this country operate like a high plains rancher in the mid-1800s.

Sort of like watching (and counting the peanuts) while the elephants walk by.

What's the point of auditors if they don't really audit.

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