Accounting Relevance II

They don’t know
Like I know

Previous queries in relation to whether accounting information is all that relevant to investment decisions. Then to W.R. Scott, Financial Accounting Theory (7th ed.) and (at p. 154):

…it does seem that accounting information is useful to investors in helping them estimate the expected values and risks of security returns.

…One must be careful, however, when equating usefulness with the extent to security price change. While investors and accountants may benefit from useful information, it does not follow that society will necessarily be better off [author’s emphasis]. Information is a very complex commodity, and its private and social values are not the same…

…what accountants cannot do is claim that the best accounting policy is the one that produces the greatest market response.

Who knows what is best, in any context…

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Came across a draft of a May, 1998 news release by Peter Goldring, the Member of Parliament I had started working for the previous fall. How he went to Quebec City for the provincial ceremony of the unveiling of the monument to the 1943 Quebec Conference. Wartime conference involving Churchill and Roosevelt, hosted by Canada’s Prime Minister MacKenzie King. King not part of the monument. Goldring outraged, though history indicates that King was not part of the discussions between the other two world leaders. Still, in terms of Canadian history…

The draft release reads in part as follows:

Mr. Goldring had first expressed his concerns in mid-April, resulting in cross-Canada media coverage at that time and subsequently. Mr. Goldring was the only Member of Parliament in Quebec City at the May 7 unveiling. When officials became aware of Mr. Goldring’s presence, he was invited to be a member of the ceremonial party, but declined, when advised that would not be provided with an opportunity to speak. Mr. Goldring attempted to speak publicly at the commencement of remarks by Premier Lucien Bouchard, but was interrupted from doing so by security officers.

Vaguely remember that this was more of a local unveiling that Mr. Goldring learned about, and decided to attend on his own. More precisely remember the television image of Peter Goldring standing up at ground level, with Lucien Bouchard above him onstage, and trying to read a protest poem as Bouchard began to speak. Despite his status as a Member of Parliament, Goldring was hustled out of the camera line very quickly.

Admired what he did. Learning again how one politician could make a difference.

A more formal event in July of that year was not attended by the Prime Minister, in protest.

Effect of initiative of one leads to

Somewhere there is that clip
Addendum, October 13, 2017:

From the CBC Digital Archives:

In 1998 Quebec City unveiled a statue commemorating the two Quebec conferences. It depicted Roosevelt and Churchill, but not King. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said Quebec’s National Capital Commission was “trying to rewrite history” by excluding King. Others, including Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard and historian David Woolner, argued that the statue was meant to celebrate the two leaders and their conferences in Quebec.

Effect of initiative of one leads to

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Watched an episode of Two and a Half Men. One of few seen. Mother of the “men”, played by Holland Taylor, insisting that her sons host a party that she is arranging for herself. Then she doesn’t want to go; the people there will not be people she is close to, despite having invited them. Since the purpose of parties…

Why does anyone want a party?

To feel superior, while feigning humility.

Turns out that this is from Season 2, Episode 7, “A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out In Fontana“, written by Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn, based on a story by Don Foster.

Straight lines in the middle of laugh track.

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Melancholy Fog

From Peter Morton, “At SEC, a modern Texas ranger hunts down the bad guys”, National Post, January 9, 1999, pp. C1, C4, in relation to Walter Schuetze:

WASHINGTON–The sun never shines into the eighth-floor office of Walter Schuetze and that is just the way the U.S. securities watchdog’s top accountant like it.

It’s always foggy, rainy and just plain awful–melancholy,” says the tough-talking Texan. “In my line of work, all I ever see is the bad. I only see those who are messing around, breaking the rules.”

…The SEC is determined to stamp out two popular and highly illegal games used by a few of the 16,000 publicly traded companies in the United States. The oldest and still number one, says Mr. Schuetze, is the premature and improper recording of revenue–booking sales before they actually happen. “But number two and fast closing on number one is managing earnings with improper use of reserves,” he says. “We are seeing all manner and kings of things being included in those reserves [that] should not be.”

…his favourite is when reserves are used by a company to boost [its] earnings to match street expectations, something that happens all too often…

The SEC’s main worry is that ordinary investors will start to read about cases and worry that publicly traded companies are somehow cheating them and that could bring uncertainty to an already overheated market.

“When my sister reads it and my cousins read it and they see me at Christmas time, they say “Walter, what the devil is going on?” he says. “What do you do if you are a regulator and get all this stuff in the headlines (about) abracadabra accounting or hocus-pocus accounting–it makes you want to do something about it.”

Though when you see the regulated world as “the bad” and are concerned about headlines…

Why there is theory versus evidence

And nearly twenty years later

What the devil

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Defence of Silence

Where one can convey one’s position through not saying anything.

Variations on boundaries.

Particularly beneficial in those situations where someone in opposition hungers for the blowup, or the breakdown. “See? You have problems.”

Works when there are the embers of verbal conflict, waiting to rage.

Silence not working the same way when the embers are in writing.

Needing to acknowledge, in writing, the potential for flames, followed by electronic silence.

Acknowledgement of what is said, expressed general disagreement as to content, followed by wordless exit.

Self-created firehouse.

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Dealt The Cards III

Can’t beat aces all in a row

Making the best of what is dealt, such as here and here.


She’s called to beat me clean

You’re playing foolish cards

Tear the game apart

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Dealt The Cards II

Where one ends up.

Partly the play, partly the cards.

Trying to make better, or make the best of, what one has been dealt.

Dealt hand of life as the challenge to make better.

No need to win, but rather to sense the opportunities to trade away or into the hand.

Ease of victory, or excuses, never part of the game.

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