Citibank e-mail looks phishy

James A. Donald jamesd at
Tue Nov 14 19:09:09 EST 2006

Leichter, Jerry wrote:
 > It's a curiosity of the financial industries that they
 > repeatedly forget what they've learned!  Architects
 > design buildings that stay up.  Engineers build
 > bridges that don't fail when the wind blows. Doctors
 > abandon treatments that kill patients and don't go
 > back to them.  In most fields, failures are translated
 > in to "best practices" that are used to produce codes
 > and rules and educational methods and such that avoid
 > repeating those failures - and remain in force pretty
 > much forever (sometimes beyond their useful lifetime,
 > but that's a different problem).  In "lower finance",
 > there are plenty of such safety rules - e.g., the
 > person who authorizes the check is never the person
 > who signs the check - that are followed pretty
 > consistently.  But the guys in "high finance" all
 > think they know better....

The failures of high finance are more subtle.  They push
the boundaries of what people can easily comprehend. Not
one person in a thousand - no regulators, and not many
accountants, understand what went wrong with Enron,
though quite a lot of investors and creditors

And the failures we deal with on this list are rather
subtle also, though a different kind of subtlety.

The failure of Andersen and Enron is not being fixed,
and the failures we are looking at on this list - the
Citibank e-mail - are not being fixed either.

          James A. Donald

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