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Where did all the oil money go?

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1 June 2008 Why has Britain squandered its oil wealth? It’s a question that deserves to be given more credence, especially given how vulnerable our economy has become to global financial mood-swings after over a decade of Labour leadership. A recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that Britain — which remains one of …

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Creative accounting

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4 December 2007 The hall of shame of those deemed responsible for the subprime mess has been extended. Until now, those mainly blamed for engendering the current crisis, which could yet tip us into a global recession, have included the ratings agencies, market participants (notably Bear Stearns, Citigroup and Merrill …

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World according to GAAP is holding back progress

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By Ian Fraser Published: The Herald Date: 1 October 2007 Americans are increasingly recognising that clinging to US accounting standards is hampering corporate and capital market competitiveness, according to Rob Ward, global head of assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ward, a former president of the Institute of Accountants in Australia, says there …

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High flyers in party mode

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By Ian Fraser Published: Scottish Business Insider Date: August 2007 £35.3bn worth of deal says it’s been an excellent year for Scotland’s dealmakers. Can the party last? Ian Fraser reports IT has been an extraordinary period for deals and dealmakers. The economic backdrop could hardly have been more propitious. Commercial …

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Nice little cash generator

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By Ian Fraser Published: Scottish Business Insider Date: August 2007 By exploring all their options and holding out for better terms, the Pirrie brothers achieved a satisfactory sale of their company WHENEVER takeover talks between Glasgow-based generator hire company LCH Generators and its would-be purchaser, the Merseyside-based plc Speedy Hire, …

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Internacionale stays on the home front

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By Ian Fraser Published: Scottish Business Insider Date: August 2007 Instead of a hugely unsettling trade sale, perhaps to a foreign buyer, the all-Scottish MBO of Ken Cairnduff’s Internacionale satisfied all round. The management buyout of Internacionale Holdings was an archetypal Scottish deal in that a successful, home-grown, entrepreneurial business was …

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Breaking down Big Four’s dominance no easy task

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By Ian Fraser Published: The Herald Date: 16 October 2006 The Financial Reporting Council has unveiled the membership of an industry panel that will examine ways in which “market participants” might rein in the stranglehold the “Big Four” accountancy firms have over UK auditing. The Market Participants Group forms part …

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Self-regulation puts UK at greater risk

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 30 June 2002 TOOTHLESS regulation of the accountancy profession, together with the sector’s increasing commercialisation in the UK, leaves Britain more at risk of major auditing scandals than the US, according to Prem Sikka, professor of accountancy at Essex University. Sikka, who publishes a critical …

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RBS ahead as internet shares drop

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 25 June 2000 THE Royal Bank of Scotland is surging ahead on the stockmarket because of its refusal to hype up its internet services, according to an influential banking magazine. Other banks have temporarily dazzled the stockmarket with bizarrely-named internet-only brands, such as …