PracticeAccounting FirmsThe butt of Bush’s joke

The butt of Bush's joke

We don't often write leaders about Taking Stock items but President Bush's joke linking Iraqi weapons inspectors and Andersen is remarkable.

We won’t pass judgment on the appropriateness of the remark. But the fact that he chose to draw a parallel between the two was perhaps the most indicative statement so far of just how the Enron affair is being viewed.

Of course there were political concerns too – when there is oil involved these are never far away. But for Andersen to become the story, and not Enron (lest we forget the company that actually collapsed as a result of the off-balance sheet vehicles it set up) means that the profession can expect to be cast in an unfavourable light for some time yet.

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