Compliance Bits and Pieces for June 4

Here are some recent stories that I found interesting:

The Auditors And Financial Regulatory Reform: That Dog Don’t Hunt by Francine McKenna in re: The Auditors

The firms are broken and their basic product is worthless. The auditors were completely impotent to warn investors of over-leverage and risky business models, to prevent erroneous and potentially fraudulent financial reporting and to mitigate the impact on everyone of these errors, misstatements, obfuscations and subterfuge by executives of the failed, bailed out and nationalized financial institutions.

Why Links Belong in text by Felix Salmon in Reuters

A blog entry with links at the bottom has aspirations to being self-contained, like say a newspaper column: the links are optional extras. I never have such aspirations and anybody looking to make full use of the power of the internet is doing themselves a huge disservice if they start thinking that way. In these days of tabbed browsing, there’s a difference between clicking and clicking away: most of us, I’m sure, control-click many times per day while reading something interesting, letting tabs accumulate in the background as we find interesting citations we want to read later.

Whistleblowers, Cooperators Making Their Way to the SEC’s Door by Kara Scannell in‘s Law Blog

While speaking at a recent Practicing Law Institute seminar, Reisner said the SEC has signed 10 cooperation agreements so far with other potential deals in the pipeline. The insiders are helping investigators in probes involving insider trading, financial and accounting fraud, stock offering frauds, and public company disclosures, he said. Reisner said the vast majority of cooperators came in the door after the probes were already underway. “One was a situation where someone walked in the door,” he said.

Dan Ariely asks, What is the right amount to pay bankers? in TED blog

To look at the question of how bonuses affect performance, Uri Gneezy, George Loewenstein, Nina Mazar, and I conducted a few experiments. In one, we gave participants an array of tasks that demanded attention, memory, concentration, and creativity. We asked them, for instance, to fit pieces of a metal puzzle into a plastic frame, to play a memory game that required reproducing a string of numbers, to throw tennis balls at a target, and a few other such tasks. We promised payments of different amounts (either low, medium, or very high bonuses) if they performed any of these tasks exceptionally well. About a third of the subjects were told they’d be given a small bonus (relative to their normal wages), another third were promised a medium-sized bonus, and the last group could earn a very high bonus.

Four-Year Sentence In Haiti Case in The FCPA Blog

A former employee of Haiti’s state-owned national telecommunications company was sentenced yesterday to 48 months in prison for being part of a bribery and money-laundering scheme. Robert Antoine, 62, of Miami and Haiti, pleaded guilty in March this year to conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was also ordered by the federal judge in Miami to pay $1,852,209 in restitution and to forfeit $1,580,771, and serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.

What’s Your KM? by Mary Abraham in Above and Beyond KM

Substitute compliance for KM:
Critics says that the inability of knowledge management proponents to settle on a universally accepted definition of KM is a sign of failure. Others say that the lack of definition and resulting ambiguity present marvelous opportunities. If you are like me (i.e., firmly settled in the second camp), then it is doubly important not to let the discipline’s perceived lack of definition translate into a personal lack of definition. Knowledge managers who lack definition make administrators very nervous. And that is not career enhancing. So the real challenge for knowledge managers is to define themselves and their work, and then help the administrators understand and accept that definition.