Smoke & Mirrors, Inc.: Accounting for Capitalism (Cornell Studies in Money)
Nicolas VA©ron, Matthieu Autret, Alfred GalichonISBN: 0801444160;
Enron, Arthur Andersen, Parmalat, AIG: business headlines over the last few years have stimulated worldwide interest in accounting responsibilities and standards. Smoke & Mirrors, Inc., is a remarkable introduction to contemporary accounting and its central importance for the operation of modern capitalism. Beginning with the financial status of the eponymous fictional company?a fireworks manufacturer?Nicolas VA©ron, Matthieu Autret, and Alfred Galichon dissect the ways in which manipulation of financial reporting can convert a rotten balance sheet into a picture of robust financial health. After deftly establishing the ease with which accounting sleight-of-hand may paint a different and rosy financial prospect, VA©ron and his coauthors provide a brief history of accounting's emergence and its key concepts, focusing on the scope for manipulation (including a detailed account of some tricks with which Enron cooked its books). They then shift their focus to the political...