Corporate collapse, crime and governance - Enron, Andersen and beyond

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Tomasic, Roman (2002) Corporate collapse, crime and governance - Enron, Andersen and beyond. Australian journal of corporate law, 14 (2). pp. 183-201. ISSN 1037-4124


The corporate collapses of recent times, culminating with massive collapses such as those of Enron in the United States and HIH in Australia, have suggested to many that there are major systemic problems facing the way in which corporations and corporate governance operate. Some conduct associated with these collapses has been clearly criminal in character, such as the actions of accounting firm Anderson in shredding audit related papers after a regulatory investigation into Enron had been announced. The use of off-balance sheet structures by Enron so as to avoid adequate disclosure or transparency has also offended basic corporate governance notions. Some conduct associated with the collapse of pivotal institutions such as these have led to the disqualification of directors and even to the virtual disappearance of one of the world’s great accounting firms. Recent corporate collapses have also struck at the basis of investor and public confidence in previously highly regarded companies and professional firms and have led to calls for a reassessment of ethical standards, auditing practices, executive reward structures, governance practices and disclosure principles. This article reviews some of the factors which have led us to this bleak juncture.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 390000 Law, Justice and Law Enforcement
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for International Corporate Governance Research
Keywords ResPubID4687, Enron, HIH, corporate collapses, corporate governance, crime, Australia, United States, economic, corporate crime, Andersen, corporate law, corporate regulation
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