Besides, Binkly asks, if Standard Chartered was relying on the Price Waterhouse audit to vouch for the bank, why did it close the deal on January 8, before the 1986 audit of the bank was completed?

"It's a shuddering thought to think that you're going to be held accountable for an audit that isn't done," he says.

Standard Chartered, Binkly believes, used revisionist history to best advantage in the case. "It's funny how when time passes you have selective memory," Binkly says.

But Standard Chartered's attorneys say the blame has been placed where it belongs. The Victorio loans were clearly in trouble in 1985 and 1986, well before the economic collapse, Richard Williams says, and the two other large loans--Malanfant and Newbery--were giving off major warning signals that should have been obvious to Price Waterhouse in late 1986. Cook of the FDIC, Williams notes, found the problems easily when he visited the bank a few months after the deal closed.

In the end, Williams says, the case does boil down to the people Price Waterhouse had in the bank during 1986 looking at the loan files. Most important among them, he says, was Laurie Pollitt.

"Looking at loans is not a task that an inexperienced auditor is capable of doing," he says. "You can't get somebody one year out of school and say here's a complicated commercial loan, go out and see if the loan is collectible."
Pollitt absolutely refuses to believe the blame that has been cast her way. "I shouldn't be involved," she says. "It's ridiculous that I'm being pointed out as a turning point in this case. I kind of want to ignore it, not acknowledge it. Because my point is it's wrong. I shouldn't be pointed out."

HIP-HOP HOMEGIRLS A TRIO OF WOMEN PUTS T... v7-08-92

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