February 12, 2013

Can accounting really be allowed to base itself on known fictions?

Sir it is with amazement I read Barney Jopson, Benedict Mander and Miles Johnson reporting on how “Venezuela devaluation dents big companies”, February 12.

I understand the locals are prohibited from even thinking in terms of a different foreign exchange rate than what the current oilygarchs in power allows them to, though even so, most of them do, at least in the shadows.

But that grown-up foreign companies hang on to a rate that drives only a part of the economy, and have not created reserves to cover for this and other adjustments of the fx fiction to come, is astonishing. It sort of falls in the same category of naiveté as bank regulators believing that an AAA to AA rating has so little implicit risk so that they can allow banks to leverage over 60 times to 1 on such exposures.

Honestly, something is terribly wrong if auditors can ok balance sheets based on a known Bs. fiction.