Smoke and Mirrors, Inc.
Nicolas Véron, Matthieu Autret, Alfred Galichon
Enron, Andersen, Worldcom: although these companies have stopped dominating the headlines, the shock waves they sent through the business community in 2002 have not yet subsided. The belief that accounting is an exact science has been shattered, while economic relations are upset by the knowledge that financial information may be untrustworthy. Yet the market economy profoundly requires relevant and reliable information about the activity and financial situation of businesses. Taking into account the increasing strength of capital markets and international investors, the authors outline the basic elements that could constitute a new, balanced system of accounting that would accompany the necessary changes in capitalism, particularly in France and the rest of Europe. This book is aimed at practicing accountants, business and corporate finance students, but also at any reader interested in an original and compelling perspective on the use and abuse of accounting in the business community. Nicolas Véron, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, is the co-founder of the European think tank Bruegel. He authored or co-authored numerous publications on banking supervision, crisis management, and financial reporting. Matthieu Autret is an economic expert who has worked for the European Commission and the World Bank. Alfred Galichon is a full professor at the department of economics of New York University and the current director of New York University in Paris. His research interests span across theoretical, computational, and empirical questions.