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Health Care & Environment
12.17 Brazilian police foil million-dollar fraud to export precious wood to China [clear-cutting forests harshly impacts all life above and below ground-level for decades; it decreases oxygen production and seguestration of CO2 and increases area, frequency and duration of drought]
12.13 English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal [Are similar tests of U.S. waters conducted by the EPA anymore? We think not...]
News Media Matters
12.17 A Report to Our Readers
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
12.17 'Making America Stupid Again': Outrage Over Forbidden 7 Words You Can't Say at Trump's CDC [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
12.16 Poverty in US set to increase due to Donald Trump's policies, says UN official [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 Republicans Despise the Working Class [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.17 Venue of last resort: the climate lawsuits threatening the future of big oil [something else Republicans are packing the courts for...]
12.15 Who Pays for Judicial Races? The Politics of Judicial Elections 2015-16 [desperately packing the courts at all levels to protect white power & unregulated capitalism]
12.13 US Concern Over 'Pervasive' High-Level Corruption Surging Under Trump: Poll [anyone surprised?]
12.17 Trump’s Misuse of Intelligence on Iran [immoral behavior that could lead to War]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
12.17 How a Philadelphia nun became the unlikely face of conscientious capitalism [Why don't we teach morality in Law & Business schools?]
12.16 The Republican Tax Bill Provides Huge Benefits to People Who Don’t Work. But Only if They’re Rich. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 The United States Is Now as Unequal as Russia. And That’s Before the Tax Bill. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 EU to force firms to reveal true owners in wake of Panama Papers [what are the chances oligarchy-controlled countries (esp. America and Russia) ever agree to fight tax evasion and money landering? International agencies must all mandate common regulations as a condition for UN membership, trade agreements, world bank loans, etc.]
12.15 FCC Chair Ajit Pai 'Shows Just How Dumb He Thinks Americans Are' With Video Mocking Net Neutrality [he won't discuss how giving more monopoly power to cable ISPs will increase consumer costs and stifle innovation]
12.13 The “Death Tax” Cargo Cult [we lack for morals and sanity in U.S. media & politics]
International & Futurism
12.17 Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life [a good model that converts victims of abuse and cruelty into positive activists with good jobs...]
12.14 Israeli undercover soldiers seen arresting Palestinian protesters [Palestinians need more and better weapons for a fair fight]
Costs for the problems, misdeeds, and inactions I’ve been chronicling will run in the mega-billions - even trillions of dollars. There is now potential to destroy this nation as we know it for generations to come.I’ve been thinking about dominoes. Actually I’ve been thinking about 2007, forensic accounting, the Dollar, interest rates, debts, the real estate market, energy, equities, and ... In my last column of the year, I usually try to lay the groundwork for what I (more than likely) will be discussing in the coming year. I claim no links to Nostradamus, and if I had a crystal ball, it – like everything else in my house right now - would be covered with a layer of plaster dust. However... if there were one word I would choose to sum up what can see as the buzzword/catchword for 2007, it would be “dominoes.”
I told them that to the best of my knowledge nobody really gets a degree in forensic accounting – not yet anyway. That designation comes pretty much from the experience of “specializing” in failures – bankruptcies, divorces, troubled debt restructurings, debtors in possession, and investigations into criminal (and civil) malfeasance on the part of officials, directors, and officers in their various fiduciary capacities. Forensic accountants are “business morticians” – auditors who perform “autopsies” on the records to determine the cause of “death,” who was responsible, and what parts might be salvageable. Damage computations are often required, and/or a determination of when a reasonably prudent person should have seen/foreseen the impending problems, or demise. The forensic accountant works primarily with official documents, minutes, correspondence, financial statements, and other printed matter because the relevant parties - make that “the suspects” - (under advice of counsel) aren’t talking!
Much of what I did (or do) as a forensic accountant, I apply in the researching and the writing of my weekly columns. There aren’t a whole lot of us “forensics” out there to begin with, and even fewer who pen weekly commentaries in an attempt to alert/inform the general public about newsworthy/ developing events, stories, and topics that are impacting and destroying our world. Hardly any of the subjects (or topics) of my prior columns have been fixed by those who should be in the position to fix them. If anything “the powers that be” have totally ignored addressing the issues, or even worse - continued the policies which only compound the problems. When the blow-up (or demise) finally occurs, public understanding of the background of events - and awareness of the players, their roles, and their actions/inactions strengthens the case for culpability in finding the guilty parties guilty.
In 2007, we find ourselves at a precipice regarding so many problems facing this nation. The status of the Dollar, interest rate volatility, our debts/deficits, the real estate bubble, energy dependence, overpriced stocks, negative savings, dependence on foreign capital/investors, disaster ill-preparedness, and an overspread military are all inter-related much like a portfolio of troubled loans that are cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted. The blow-up of one would/ should/ could trigger the toppling of all the rest - much like my childhood string of upright dominoes. Will 2007 be the year of the “dominoes?”
So many times in my years spent working on litigation and investigations for the FDIC and the RTC on failed banks and savings and loans, I saw “alleged” guilty parties walk from all their misdeeds, responsibilities, and liabilities. When confronted with evidence against them and given a choice between being crooked or stupid, we so frequently heard: “Boy, was I dumb!” Costs for the problems, misdeeds, and inactions I’ve been chronicling will run in the mega-billions - even trillions of dollars. There is now potential to destroy this nation as we know it for generations to come. Thru my columns, I’m trying to inform my readership to preclude any defense of incompetence, of stupidity, of ignorance, of innocence, and of moronic stubbornness in allowing the guilty to walk free. If the “dominoes” fall in 2007, who will really end up paying the price - the guilty parties, or the people? I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2006 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
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This story was published on December 26, 2006.