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FROM THIS EPISODE

Accountants wield enormous power over America's economy. They're supposed to assure that financial statements are credible so investors can make sound decisions. But Andersen's audit of Enron has raised some disturbing questions about the independence of auditors from the corporations they audit, and who makes sure that the auditors are honest. We look at the Enron-Andersen debacle and what it says about the big accounting firms charged with keeping American business honest. We hear about conflicts of interest, paper shredding, and the effort to restore pubic confidence in a crucial profession from two former employees of the SEC, and a former big-five CPA with a conflict-of-interest horror story of his own.
  • Newsmaker: Powell in Pakistan on Way to India
    Secretary of State Colin Powell is in Pakistan where a million Pakistani and Indian troops are massed on the border. Pakistan's President Musharaff has arrested 1500 Islamic militants, including some India holds responsible for the recent attack on its Parliament. Robert Marquand, of The Christian Science Monitor, says the US has discarded its hands-off posture in favor of acting as a regional mediator.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Worldview of the President and the Pretzel
    Although President Bush has joked about it, American news agencies have played the President-and-the-pretzel story pretty straight. Not so overseas, where the media are making jokes and asking tough questions. Marjorie Miller, London bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, surveys the foreign press for its effective use of humor to raise serious issues.

The Christian Science Monitor

US Department of State

Anderson

Financial Accounting Standards Board

The New York Times

US Securities and Exchange Commission

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