Book Report - The Number

Book Report - The Number - Book Report : THE NUMBER By...

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Book Report : THE NUMBER By Sharon Reier Published: SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2003 THE NUMBER How the Drive for Quarterly Earnings Corrupted Wall Street and Corporate America By Alex Berenson Random House. 274 pages. Reviewed by Sharon Reier Today in Your Money Anyone who was sideswiped by the fall from grace of Lucent Technologies Inc. neglected to read Alex Berenson ʹ s expose of the company ʹ s tricky accounting in October 1999, when he was working for TheStreet.com. At the time, Lucent ʹ s stock was selling at nearly $80 per share and the company was resorting to accounting gimmicks to maintain the illusion that business was still firing on all cylinders and earnings were strong. Berenson blew the whistle on how in reality Lucent ʹ s cash flow was negative while its inventories and receivables had soared, and showed that the company had recalculated its pension costs and used a restructuring reserve to pay its bills. These days Lucent ʹ s stock is down to $1.50 and Berenson is at The New York Times, parent of this newspaper. He has parlayed his specialized insight into accounting and the dynamics of the recent stock market bubble into ʺ The Number: How the Drive for Quarterly Earnings Corrupted Wall Street and Corporate America. ʺ How did some of America ʹ s most admired corporate leaders become out and out cheaters? Not surprisingly, the answer is more complicated than the question. Most fundamentally, in
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course ECON 4 taught by Professor Willoughby during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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Book Report - The Number - Book Report : THE NUMBER By...

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