PETITION: What is one notable trend you expect to see in ’18 that not enough people are talking about?
The fallout from the effects of the collapse of trust. When even the auditors of the auditors’ audits are cheating (see DoJ’s press release of January 23, 2018, announcing the arrest of several former partners of a Big Four CPA Firm, accused of hiring PCAOB staff to provide confidential regulatory information to help the Firm improve its audit inspection results), you know we’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions: fire and brimstone, rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria.
There has been a rash of thematically-on-point news on this front in the past week.
“The two largest proxy-advisory firms are recommending that General Electric Co. fire KPMG LLP as its auditor after 109 years, in light of accounting issues at the industrial giant.”
“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. could collect the largest damage award ever against a global public accounting firm when a federal judge decides what to award the agency after a verdict against PricewaterhouseCoopers.”
“But in the last 10 days, the shares have fallen about 80%. There were several triggers: A number of prominent short sellers made public attacks on Longfin; the company’s shares were added and then days later removed from the Russell 2000 Index; and on Monday the company said the SEC was conducting an investigation called In the Matter of Trading in the Securities of Longfin, which hasn’t resulted in any conclusions.”
“Michael Liberty advertised that Mozido, the start-up he founded which once boasted a valuation of $5.6 billion, would revolutionize mobile payments and bring financial services to 2 billion unbanked adults worldwide. But securities regulators claim Liberty hyped up Mozido while raising $55 million that mostly went into his own pocket.
The Securities & Exchange Commission has sued Liberty for fraud in federal court in Maine, saying Liberty stole most of the $55 million he purportedly raised for Mozido from 200 individual investors.”
“Blood-testing firm Theranos Inc. laid off most of its remaining workforce in a last-ditch effort to preserve cash and avert bankruptcy for a few more months, according to people familiar with the matter.”
Once its cash falls under that threshold, the terms of the Fortress loan agreement allow the New York private-equity firm to seize the company’s assets and to liquidate them, she said.”
What exactly did Fortress Investment Group LLC lend Theranos $100 million against? Is there even IP here? The blood testing tech was a fraud; the Zika test isn’t working. What gives here?
At least Ms. Holmes has been focused on “burn rate” and conserving cash with an eye towards giving the Zika trials a fighting chance:
“Until Tuesday, Ms. Holmes still had two personal assistants and two security guards who drove her around in a black Cadillac Escalade SUV, according to the people familiar with the matter.”
What. The. F*ck.
We are sure that there will be at least a handful of high profile fraud-based bankruptcies that emerge in due time. Mark our words: 60% of the time it happens every time.