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December 6, 2007
Accounting for reality
“Does a future ‘Enron’ debacle lurk in our 401(k)s?” says Cary Maguire in The Dallas Morning News. Yes, probably, and our investments will be at risk “until accountants change their way of reporting” risky assets. The “billion-dollar losses” booked in the “subprime debacle” didn’t happen overnight. If accountants had recorded realistic values for these “loosey goosey” derivatives all along, companies and regulators could have “taken actions to minimize the problem.” Instead, everyone with “401(k) plans, mortgages, or money market income” is at risk. Accountants need to “bring things back to reality” by adding an “estimated value column” to their financial reports.
Don’t starve for a dream job
If you follow your dreams, don’t expect the money to follow you, says Marty Nemko in Kiplinger.com. Unless your “passion” is accounting, say, you’re probably competing against “half the continent” for a “small number of decent-paying jobs” in a field like the arts or activism. “That’s the reason the word ‘starving’ so often precedes ‘artist.’” And even if you do land that “longshot dream career,” don’t expect to be coddled—“coveys of wannabes are in the wings panting for your job,” and your boss knows it. You’re better off diving into a “non-glam” career, which you could learn to love. As for your passion, make it a “sure-shot hobby” rather than a “longshot dream.”
of The Week magazine.