Whose sticky little fingers are all over mis-accounting in Greece? All the usual suspects, bar, it seems Barclays (what did they do to miss out?):
Wall Street’s role in the unfolding Greek debt crisis will be probed by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, which has requested information from Athens about currency swaps. The transactions, undertaken from 2001 to 2008, may have allowed the Greek government to conceal billions of euros of new debt from regulators. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and other investment banks arranged complex transactions that enabled Athens to raise cash for budget spending without having to classify as public debt.
Time to call the banks to account then: is there any point pretending that they serve any social function under their existing management any more?
Government lies, cheats, conceals and deceives.
This is all the banks\’ fault. Thus government should have more power over banks.
Most importantly, what it fails to note is that accounts are always political statements. No one can pretend otherwise. Capital is treated as meritorious, for example; labour is a cost to be minimised. Spending on replacing labour with plant and machinery is treated as creating an asset of value – the labour is just a loss offset.
Umm, look, when a company employs labour it does just that, employs it. Rents it. Neither the labour nor the labourers are owned by the company: if it were they would not be labourers for hire, they would be slaves.
A machine however, is indeed owned by the company.
Which is why one is treated as an asset of the company and the other not.
Try running this the other way around. We\’re going to say that the labourers are indeed an asset of the company (rather than their agreement to work for the company in return for wages being an asset). We really want our accounting system to be based on such slavery?