Weil's View on Finance, Afternoon Edition
Greetings, dear Viewfinders. Here's a look at what I've been reading this afternoon while watching oil prices hit a two-year high and U.S. stock markets go up.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board released inspection reports on KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, two of the Big Four U.S. audit firms. The inspectors reviewed KPMG's audit work at 50 companies and found audit failures at 17 of them. At Pricewaterhouse, the board's staff checked 54 clients and found audit failures at 21. Why make companies pay for financial-statement audits when the failure rates are so high? It's a government subsidy for the accounting profession, and investors too often aren't getting their money's worth.
Syria, emerging markets and the Fed
Matthew Lynn of Market Watch says the Federal Reserve won't have any choice but to keep printing money longer than it had planned to: "Already the threat of an end to QE in the U.S. had started to create a crisis in the emerging markets. Now the threat of military action in Syria will intensify the downward spiral."
Mark Carney talks stimulus and easy money
In his first speech as the Bank of England's governor, the Canadian import said "we would not reduce the stimulus until the recovery is secure" and "we would if necessary provide more." The link takes you to the text of his remarks today.
This month's long-forgotten trading debacle in China
It was less than two weeks ago, but who can keep up with all the trading fiascos lately? Before the Nasdaq had its afternoon halt, there was the mess at Evercore Securities, which sent out lots of erroneous transactions and roiled China's securities markets. Beijing-based Caixin Online has a look back at what happened. Great anecdote: Traders had to pull out the Internet cables and power cords to shut down the computers and stop them from generating new orders.
The Bunny Ranch isn't hopping like it once was
Bloomberg News reporter Alison Vekshin takes a serious look at the economic woes plaguing Nevada's brothel industry. I didn't know before I read this article that the brothel industry has a lobbyist, but I suppose everyone needs an advocate. Rising diesel prices help explain brothels' revenue decline. Truckers have to cut costs somewhere, you know.
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)