Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vince - its all gone quiet

Given that the purer than pure LibDems might need to give back over £2m donated to them from someone dishonest - lets just remind ourselves of their own moralising on similar issues in recent years......, all courtesy of Vince Cable,

Dr Vincent Cable MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Trade & Industry Secretary, commenting on the collapse of WorldCom after the discovery of massive fraud, said:
“This fraud clearly shows that the false accounting at Enron was not a one off. It calls into question the effectiveness of self-regulation of auditors and accountants.
“Repeated disasters of this kind will have a wide-ranging effect on the UK: collapsing share prices, reducing pension funds and resulting in job losses.
“The solution to protecting the public must lie in tougher audit requirements, independent regulation of the accounting profession and a more expansive and stronger role for non executive directors”

17 July 2002

Dr Vincent Cable MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Trade & Industry Secretary, commenting on reports in the Financial Times that under new Government proposals company executives and employees would face up to two years in prison and unlimited fines if they mislead auditors, said:

“At the meeting of ministers, regulators and accountants, the Government will have to come up with radical proposals to restore confidence in companies and the accounting profession.
“The government has taken the view that Britain has more rigorous standards than the US, but with the Fairbanes Bill sweeping unopposed through the Senate there is a great danger that Britain will be left behind.
“Liberal Democrats believe that the restoration of confidence in business and the accountancy profession requires some bold steps which means the Government standing-up to the vested interests in the big accounting firms.”

"I welcome also the move to strengthen the independence of audit committees in companies. Does the right hon. Lady agree that for that to become effective, there must be much more far-reaching reform of independent directorships following the Higgs review? Does she agree also that at present the largely self- selecting group of non-executive directors means that a few individuals hold far too many directorships and are unable to provide the focus and professional supervision that companies need?
The right hon. Lady has not referred to fraud. Is she consulting the Law Officers on how to introduce a tougher approach to real financial fraud? Are there not still too many cases, such as Allied Carpets a few weeks ago, where crooked directors who steal from their shareholders are treated far more leniently by the criminal justice system than criminals who rob the same amount from a bank? There must be a tough and consistent approach"

"There has been a crisis in capitalism and there is a fundamental lack of trust in corporate behaviour, particularly in independent audits. It is striking that on the three big issues that the Government had to confront-audit rotation, competition policy and conflicts of interests-they have not taken the robust action that one might have expected. I shall pose a series of specific questions. First, on corporate governance and Higgs, I welcome the fact that the Government are now taking the initiative to break up the magic circle and break the incestuous links between non-executive directors. As there will be a demand under the reforms for more non-executive directors, what action will be taken to ensure that the existing community does not take on excessive numbers, which is already happening? Why have the Government not responded to advice to set limits on the number of non-executive directorships and chairmanships?


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