Premium Essay

Example of Financial Illusion in 2000s

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tengku
Words 4978
Pages 20
Example of Financial Illusion


The emergence of an increasing number of ‘financial illusions’ in the current state of financial markets around the world casts doubts over the famous and widely accepted efficient market hypothesis. The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) indicates that, at any time, prices fully and instantaneously reflect all available relevant information on a particular stock or market (Fama, 1970). EMH also suggests that it is impossible to “beat the market” because stock market efficiency causes existing share prices to always incorporate and reflect all relevant information. Thus, according to the EMH, it is impossible for investors to either purchase undervalued stocks or sell stocks for inflated prices because stocks are always traded at their fair value on stock exchanges. Another reason is because no one has access to information that is not already available to everyone else. One important characteristic of the EMH is its assumption that agents are rational. Rational agents is agents which has a clear preferences, models uncertainty via expected values, and always chooses to perform the action that results in the optimal outcome from all the feasible actions. Their actions depend on their preferences, their information of the current situation; which may come from past experiences, the actions, duties and obligations available and the estimated or actual benefits that the agents can get after the actions. In reality, however, agents are not always rational; people’s decision does not always correspond to the concept of economic rationality. Most people, in fact, make their decision rather intuitively. This leads to an interesting new study of behavioural finance, a study that linked psychology with finance. It provides explanations to well-known market anomalies such as: the small firms outperform; in which the case...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Herd Behavior

...THE JOURNAL OF FINANCE • VOL. LVI, NO. 4 • AUGUST 2001 Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing DAVID HIRSHLEIFER* ABSTRACT The basic paradigm of asset pricing is in vibrant f lux. The purely rational approach is being subsumed by a broader approach based upon the psychology of investors. In this approach, security expected returns are determined by both risk and misvaluation. This survey sketches a framework for understanding decision biases, evaluates the a priori arguments and the capital market evidence bearing on the importance of investor psychology for security prices, and reviews recent models. The best plan is . . . to profit by the folly of others. — Pliny the Elder, from John Bartlett, comp. Familiar Quotations, 9th ed. 1901. IN THE MUDDLED DAYS BEFORE THE RISE of modern finance, some otherwisereputable economists, such as Adam Smith, Irving Fisher, John Maynard Keynes, and Harry Markowitz, thought that individual psychology affects prices.1 What if the creators of asset-pricing theory had followed this thread? Picture a school of sociologists at the University of Chicago proposing the Deficient Markets Hypothesis: that prices inaccurately ref lect all available information. A brilliant Stanford psychologist, call him Bill Blunte, invents the Deranged Anticipation and Perception Model ~or DAPM!, in which proxies for market misvaluation are used to predict security returns. Imagine the euphoria when researchers discovered that these mispricing......

Words: 33427 - Pages: 134

Premium Essay

Earnings Management

...chairman Arthur Levitt delivered at the NYU Center for Law and Business regarding earnings management in 1998. While companies use many techniques and illusions to improve their numbers, this paper will only look at three: “Cookie-Jar” Reserves, “Big Bath” Charges, and Revenue Recognition. After discussing and using real world examples of these techniques, this paper will examine ethical questions related to the selection of audit committee members such as qualifications and independence. Cookie Jar Reserves Cookie Jar reserves refers to the practice of intentionally recording unreasonable estimates or one time transactions during good economic times in order to smooth out activity in bad economic times (Levitt). These transactions directly violate, not only simple human honesty, but also Conservatism, one of the main accounting principles. A real world example of the use of cookie jar reserves is the computer company Dell. In 2010, they paid a penalty to the SEC of $100 million dollars due to their using of cookie jar reserves. To establish their reserves, Dell did not disclose payments from Intel which were paid in order to maintain exclusive use of their microprocessors. When times were tough, Dell drew on these reserves. At one point, these reserves made up more than 70% of their quarterly earnings (Investopedia). This example, first, violates the matching principle, since the payments from Intel should have been recorded as a rebate contra to the variable cost of......

Words: 1083 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...The scandal behind ENRON is a subject I had heard and read briefly about but never really knew all of the details. When I watched the film, Smartest Guy In The Room, I really got the opportunity to understand what caused the fall of ENRON and the negative impacts ENRON caused. The film begins by questioning the reasons for ENRON’s fall to bankruptcy in 24 days by addressing the characteristics of Pride, Greed , Arrogance, and Intolerance which were all strong characteristics of the corporate culture at ENRON. Ultimately, the executives and employees at ENRON were blinded by money which eventually sunk their own lifeboat. The movie is definitely a story about people rather than merely addressing ENRON from a financial perspective, and tells the story of the different people behind the rise and fall of ENRON. I was amazed that ENRON was the 7th largest corporation in America with over 70 billion dollars charting the future of energy and power. I also didn’t know all the political connections ENRON had invested with the Bush family and how they were the largest contributor to G.W.Bush’s First Presidential Campaign. This was definitely an alarming point to find out and learn just how politics and corporate America really are tied together. The film talks about Kenny Lay, the founder of ENRON, who grew up poor and wanted to make wealth for himself. Lay really wanted to liberate businessmen from regulation of government and deregulate energy markets. He had a strong desire for...

Words: 1546 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...1) What important internal controls were ignored when LJM1 was created? LJM1 ignored some of Enron’s entries in the books that were missing. Outsiders owned less than 3% of the Special Purpose Entities equities. There was an error made by Arthur Andersen to let LJM’s financial statement to remain unconsolidated. If the financial statements had been consolidated, some of the errors could have been found. They may have even had some time to correct these errors before that had gotten so far out of control. There was not governing controls in place and fraudulent activities were unlimited. Andrew Fastow created LJM1 to handle investments with Rhythms NetConnections, high-speed Internet service provider. The stock that they bought at $10 million was worth $300 million after a year. Enron tried to sell the stocks to an investor, in case the stock price dropped. They could not find an investor to purchase the stock at the put option because of the risks that was involved. 2) How might Enron’s harsh Performance Review Committee (PRC) have aided company executives in committing the fraud? Enron’s harsh Performance Review Committee (PRC) has aided company executives in committing the fraud because the high turnover may have caused them to seek revenge. All of the Enron employees were rated on a scale of 1-5. The employees that are at bottom of the scale were terminated and replaced. The employee may have known that they did not do so well and would be rated as the lowest score......

Words: 1034 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Fraud Detection Paper

...fraud and what is considered error. Fraud as defined in our textbook as “intentional misstatements that can be classified as fraudulent financial reporting and/or misappropriation of assets.” On the other hand, error is “unintentional misstatements or omissions of amounts or disclosures.” This simply means that fraud and error can have the same affect on a company and its books, the main difference between the two is the intent of the perpetrator. This paper will explore the basic types of fraud, preventing and detecting fraud, an example of a major fraud committed in United States history and the governments reaction to the prevalence of frauds in the 1990s and early 2000s. TYPES OF FRAUD There are three basic types of fraud perpetrated by employees. They are misappropriation of assets, bribery and corruption, and fraudulent financial reporting. Misappropriation of assets is the theft or misuse of assets that belong to a company. Misappropriation of assets is the most common type of fraud; statics show that it has occurred in over 91% of fraud schemes. It is also the simplest type of fraud to understand and commit which might explain its prevalence in many business fraud schemes. Asset misappropriation is also the least expensive type of fraud for a company on a per-fraud basis costing the company on average $150,000. A few common examples of asset misappropriation include embezzlement, stealing, skimming and anything that causes the company to pay for something that......

Words: 1627 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Ireland and the Celtic Tiger

...suggested by some commentators? Introduction Ireland is a trading nation with a global perspective. Its economy is perceived as one of the most globalised in the modern world. The country has benefited enormously from foreign direct investment and extensive external trade. Ireland is in a fortunate position as having one of the world’s most dynamic open economies. It has boasted annual economic growth rates during the “celtic tiger” boom years in excess of averages for the rest of the developed world. (Enterprise Ireland 2006) By the end of the year 2000, Ireland could boast fourteen years of continued economic growth. (Burnham 2003) This translated into an economy that boasted one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU. The ruling government were in a position of a growing government surplus and a low inflation rate. (Burnham 2003) Record growth was recorded during the 90’s, and with a 10% average rate for the years 1997-2000. (Enterprise Ireland 2006) This has catapulted Ireland from being one of the poorest economies in the EU, to one of the wealthiest. GDP per capita for the year 2005, was equivalent to €38,000. This was only second to Luxembourg in the EU. This is in contrast to the mid 1980’s when Ireland’s unemployment rate was 17%, the government’s finances were chaotic and many Irish citizens saw emigration as the norm. A transformation of the economy, which included changes in fiscal policy and policies in relation to tax, education and telecommunications......

Words: 4230 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

To What Extent Is Corporate Social Responsibility (Csr) Beneficial to a Company’s Performance?

...beneficial to a company’s performance? An analysis of the relationship between CSR and financial soundness, quality of marketing, people management and long-term investment value. Introduction Since the late 1990s, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been increasingly discussed in the society and it slowly becomes one of the important components in the business world (Jenkins, 2005). McWilliams and Siegel (2006) interpret CSR as ‘situations where the firm goes beyond compliance and engages in “actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law”’. In general, CSR is believed to, in long-term, enhance business performance and boost employee morale. Also, CSR could be a tool to improve company image and to prevent crises (Weber, 2008). This essay argues that CSR has a positive relationship with a company’s performance, meaning that it brings benefits to corporate performance to a large extent. To measure one’s performance, three key aspects are considered, namely financial soundness, quality of marketing and people management. These three aspects are chosen from the criteria for Britain's Most Admired Companies 2014 (Management Today, 2014). Effects of CSR on Financial Soundness One of the most crucial criteria to determine a company’s performance is by analysing its financial soundness. Common indicators for financial performance are Return of Assets (ROA), Return on Sales (ROS) and......

Words: 1547 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Case Study 1

...(Gilbertson et al, 2008). The difference can be further explained by the Accounting equation of Assets, which shows: ASSETS = LIABILITIES + OWNER’S EQUITY From the equation we can derive that assets are comprised by liabilities and owner’s equity. Therefore, equity cannot be shown as an asset on the balance sheet because equity is the balance of assets minus the liabilities of the owner. So when we look at the Accounting Equation rearranged, it shows: OWNER’S EQUITY = ASSETS – LIABILITIES Equity cannot be regarded as an asset because it is considered a “borrowed” income provided by the owner for the business. In general, equity can be thought of any assets after all its debts associated with that asset have been paid off. For example, a car or house with no outstanding debt is considered the owner’s equity...

Words: 3533 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay


...WorldCon: A Case Study of WorldCom ACCT 424B Prof. R. Hayes May 12, 2011 WorldCom is a telecommunications company that was once worth billions but is now merged with Verizon after bankruptcy due to fraudulent activities. The question is what caused one of the largest US corporations began a spiral into financial ruin. WorldCom according to John Sidgmore, a former top executive of WorldCom, stated that WorldCom generated annual revenues of over $30 billion a year, has more than 60,000 employees, over 20 million customers, and was one of the largest internet providers in the world. This made WorldCom a key component in the USA’s economy and communications infrastructure. Bernie Ebbers isn’t the founder of WorldCom but was a major factor in making LDDS which is a small start-up company in Mississipi that offered regional long distance discount services into a major global telecommunications company. Ebbers in 1997 stated that his goal was to be the number one stock on Wall Street. His plans were focused on mergers for growth relying on using WorldCom stock to finance the mergers. Ebbers acquired around 75 companies with the largest being MCI. This strategy of constant mergers for growth appeared to be working but making these mergers succeed is a difficult task. The main problem with mergers lies in the reorganization of the business to effectively incorporate the acquisitions. An area that suffered from these mergers was customer support and many began to wonder if...

Words: 2888 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

The Enron Scandal

...| The Enron Scandal | | Introduction Enron Corporation was an American energy, commodities and services company based in Houston, Texas. From the 1990's until December 2001, Enron was famous throughout the business world and was named by Fortune as "America's Most Innovative Company" for six consecutive years. It grew wealthy due largely to marketing, promoting power, and its high stock price. Before its bankruptcy, Enron employed about 21,000 staff in forty countries and was one of the world's major electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper companies, which claimed revenues of $100.8 billion in 2000. Enron gave the illusion that it was a steady company with good revenue which was not the case, as a large part of its profits were made on paper through a creatively planned accounting fraud. Deep debt and surfacing information about hiding losses gave the company big problems and in the late 2001 Enron declared bankruptcy under the United States Bankruptcy Code. The collapse was followed by a series of revelations on how the executives manipulated Enron's success. The Fraud Schemes The Enron scandal, revealed in October 2001 was a management fraud involving top executives of Enron who deliberately manipulated the accounting structures in order to conceal their losses and debts so that the corporation appeared to be performing favourably. They adopted mark-to-market accounting, an accounting system based on market value, which was then inflated;......

Words: 2330 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Enron Ponzi Scheme

...Company based in Houston, Texas and the auditing and accountancy-consulting firm Arthur Andersen. The scandal was uncovered in October 2001. Enron Corporation was undoubtedly a giant corporation and in fact, some individuals suggest that it was one of the largest energy companies’ world over. It comprised of a multibillion corporation that employed several individuals and had various affiliations right to the White House. Enron majorly depended on external sources of credit to finance its operations (Loren, 2003). In 2001, the corporation collapsed leaving in its wake financial chaos and financially ruined lives and families. It emerged that the Enron Corporation’s remarkable financial condition thrived on institutionalized, systemic and intricately planned accounting fraud that was later to be referred to as the “Enron scandal”. From that instance, Enron has continued to become a very popular symbol and example of willfully orchestrated corruption. The collapse of Enron Corporation destroyed lives and shattered reputations, questions have been raised on how the fraudulent transactions occurred and who was involved. In this paper, all these questions will be investigated explicitly. The paper will also focus on the various ways in which the Enron debacle created an awareness of corporate ethics within the United States (Peter & Ross, 2002). Enron Corporation was formed when Houston Natural gas Company of Houston, Texas merged with InterNorth that is a natural gas company......

Words: 1729 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...directors, inflated costs and earnings, and a smoke and mirrors illusion of stability. There were many avenues that could have been taken that would have prevented the demise and fall of the organization, but those roads were not traveled. Many argue that government intervention could have prevented the backlash and whitewater effect of Nortel’s bankruptcy, but due to corporate ties within the government and the Securities and Exchange Commission the many CEO’s continued to elude the government auditors and the stakeholders. From an ethical perspective, there were several factors that contributed to the rise and fall of Nortel. The initial CEO and founder of Nortel, John Roth, demonstrated altruistic behavior because he did want the company to profit, the investors to profit, as well as their primary stackholders. Nortel’s fall from grace came swiftly and on many fronts. Its market capitalization climbed to an all-time high of $398 billion in September 2000. Two years later, in August 2002, the amount had plunged to just $5 billion (Collins, 2011, pg. 536). In 2000, Nortel was Canada’s largest producing company and employed 93,000 people worldwide. Their research and development team was renowned for pioneering cutting-edge technology such as the digital switch in the 70s and 80s, and because there were no other competitors they were able to negotiate the standard as well as elate the cost of production. Between 1997 and 2000, Nortel purchased a slew of expensive......

Words: 2056 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Aeromedical Study Guide

...HYPOXIA Hypoxia results when the body lacks oxygen. Hypoxia tends to be associated with flights at altitudes. However, many other factors such as alcohol abuse, heavy smoking, & various medications interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. INDIVIDUALS PHYSIOLOGICAL ALTITUDE. Drugs. Many medications have an unexpected effect when combined with high altitudes. Never self-medicate, even w/ over the counter drugs. Alcohol. 1 ounce of alcohol can give the body a physiological altitude up to 2000’. Smoking. The hemoglobin molecule of RBCs has a 200-300 times greater affinity for CO than for O2. Smoking 3 cigarettes in rapid succession or 20 to 30 cigarettes w/ in a 24 hr period gives a physiological altitude of 5000’ at sea level & a 20% reduction of night vision. CLASSIFICATIONS: Hypoxic. Occurs when not enough O2 is in the air or when decreasing atmospheric pressures prevent the diffusion of O2 from the lungs to the bloodstream. Typically, Occurs at higher altitudes. Hypemic. or anemic, hypoxia is caused by a reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Anemia & blood loss are the most common causes. CO,nitrites, & sulfa drugs also cause this by forming compounds w/ hemoglobin & reducing the hemoglobin that is available to combine w/ O2. Stagnant. O2 carrying capacity of the blood is adequate, but circulation is inadequate. Conditions as heart failure, arterial spasm, & occlusion of a blood vessel predispose the individuals to stagnant hypoxia. More......

Words: 4918 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Barberis Gfc Cast Study Report

...Report on Global Financial Crisis Discussions on psychological factors affecting People’s behaviors in the crisis and their motivations Qiang Sheng 9th May 2011 Financial Risk Management Lecturer: Bernd P. Leudecke Macquarie University Melbourne 4.1 Three areas of applications were reviewed and investigated: 1. The pricing of financial assets; 2. The portfolio choice and trading decisions of investors; 3. The behavior of firm managers; 4.2 A “Bubble” is an episode in which irrational thinking or a friction causes the price of an asset to rise to a level that is higher than it would be in the absence of the friction or the irrationality; and, moreover, the price level is such that a rational observer, armed with all available information, would forecast a low long-term return on the asset (Barberis, 2010). 4.3 Two categories of theories explaining “Bubble Formation” (Why an asset class might become overvalued): 1. “Investor Beliefs Based” theories; 2. “Investor Preferences Based” theories; 4.4 Three “Belief-Based” theories of “Bubble Formation” (Barberis, 2010): First theory argues that a bubble forms when investors disagree sharply about an asset’s future prospects and there are short-sale constraints. Second theory argues that bubbles arise because investors extrapolate past outcomes – returns, earnings growth, or default rates – too far into the future. Third theory is based on overconfidence – specifically, on the idea that people overestimate the......

Words: 4528 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Enron Corporation Term Paper

...Auditing.....................................................................................................................9-10 IX. Conclusion: THE AFTERMATH..........................................................................10-11 XI. BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................................................12 I. ABSTRACT Introduction: Enron Corporation The Enron Corporation was an American energy, commodities, and Services Company, which had its headquarters in Houston, Texas. At the pinnacle of Enron, the company was one of the world’s largest electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper companies. The firm employed roughly 20,000 employees. In the year 2000, the business had claimed to...

Words: 2887 - Pages: 12