After Enron: Lessons for Public Policy

Front Cover
William A. Niskanen
Rowman & Littlefield, 2005 - Business & Economics - 397 pages
2 Reviews
After Enron first describes the conditions that led to the collapse of Enron and other corporate scandals and the concerns that these developments raised among the public, the press, and political officials. The book then describes and evaluates the initial private and public responses to these developments and concludes that most of these responses were unnecessary, harmful, or inadequate. There are four major lessons learned during the post-Enron scandal era: Don't count too much on financial accounting. Don't count too much on auditing. The tax system is an important part of the problem. The rules of corporate governance do not adequately serve the interests of general shareholders. After Enron addresses the major lessons for public policy affecting accounting, auditing, taxation, and corporate government. It proposes a set of policy changes to address the lessons learned from the Enron scandal. The first major set of proposed changes would delegate the authority to establish and monitor accounting and disclosure standards to each stock exchange. A second major proposal would replace the corporate income tax with a cash flow tax. And a final set of proposed policy changes would replace the rules of corporate governance that are now biased against the interest of the general shareholders. The most distinctive feature of the book is that the major proposed policy changes would address the problems illustrated by the corporate scandals by reducing and focusing the role of government.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

A Crisis of Trust
1
Early Private and Public Responses to the Corporate Scandals
11
Major Private Responses
13
Political Responses to the Enron Scandal
18
Accounting
45
Dont Count Too Much on Financial Accounting
47
Corporate Accounting before and after Enron
55
Auditing
85
Bankers as Corporate Monitors
198
The Credit Rating Agencies From Cartel Busters to Cartel Builders
218
The SEC as a Corporate Monitor
231
Taxation
241
Our Tax System Is a Major Part of the Problem
243
Compensation Journalism and Taxes
245
Replace the ScandalPlagued Corporate Income Tax with a CashFlow Tax
283
Corporate Governance
335

Dont Count Too Much on Auditing
87
The Formal Audit Process
89
The Market Analysts
101
Public and Private Rule Making in Securities Markets
105
Should Congress Repeal Securities Class Action Reform?
125
The Business Press as a Corporate Monitor How the Wall Street Journal and Fortune Covered Enron
147
Lawyers as Corporate Monitors
171
Corporate Governance
337
Major Policy Lessons from the Collapse of Enron
353
Major Policy Lessons from the Collapse of Enron
355
Index
375
About the Editor and Contributors
395
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2005)

William A. Niskanen has been the chairman of the Cato Institute since 1985, following service as a member and acting chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors. He had previously served in two other federal positions, as director of economics of the Ford Motor Company, and as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles. He currently resides on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Kathryn.

Bibliographic information