JAMES PICKETT WESBERRY Jr >>>> PERSONAL WEBSITE

WHAT TO DO IN THE SECOND GREAT DEPRESSION

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HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS TO PREPARE FOR AND SURVIVE GREAT DEPRESSION II

It's time to prepare for the Second Great Depression. Here's what to do.

Line up ducks 
Start with the basics. Make sure that you're covered if you lose your job.

In the depths of the Great Depression, 25% of all workers and 37% of non-farm workers were unemployed. That's a devastating statistic. It means that in cities, almost four in 10 people didn't have jobs, and that doesn't even take into account the underemployed -- people who wanted full-time jobs, but were only able to find part-time work.

So, prepare for the worst. Make sure that you have an emergency fund -- in cash -- of at least three to six months worth of expenses. Then, pay down your debt, starting with the debt with the highest interest rate. Debt is terrible during deflationary times because deflation doesn't just affect prices, but incomes as well. As incomes fall, that debt becomes more and more onerous. During the early 1930s, there was 30% deflation. So, pay back debt now, while you can.

Finally, recognize that, in a Second Great Depression, losing your job is a real risk. Whenever you buy something, think hard about whether you truly want to spend that cash. Imagine that you'll lose your job in six months. Looking back from that time, will you still be happy that you made that purchase?  (from Welcome to the Second Great Depression

10 Key Recommendations for Internal Auditing in the Financial Crisis

May 21, 2009

Richard Chambers
President
Institute of Internal Auditors

Organizations are navigating through the current crisis in a variety of ways. Most CAEs said they are making their internal audit activities more flexible by adjusting to stakeholder expectations and changing risk priorities. By linking their audit plan to business strategies and current risks, internal auditors are shifting priorities from a financial and compliance focus to a more operational and ERM effectiveness strategy. Resulting in 10 recommendations for internal auditors in helping their organizations through the financial crisis.
 
1.       Focus on recession-related risks and activities. Incorporate cost containment and revenue enhancement reviews into the audit activity. Review risks around reputation, liquidity, workforce reductions, and third-party vendors. Look at going concern issues and off-balance-sheet transparency, and ensure internal controls mitigate reputational risk. Cultivate a cultural mind-set so that all activities are scrutinized with corporate reputation in mind. Invite management to surprise drills, and discuss strategies if the unthinkable happens.

2.       Increase communication with management and the audit committee. Know the expectations of the audit committee and management. Recognize the opportunity to advocate risk management and keep the audit committee informed of upcoming and emerging risks. Discuss and obtain agreement on any shifts in audit plan priority. Promote transparency at all levels.
 
3.       Place renewed focus on risk management and corporate governance processes. Audit the effectiveness of the organization’s risk management and governance processes. Take a hard look at the organizational structure and business strategies, and ensure that there is a well-thought-out risk management process. Raise tough questions about oversight practices and strategies. Look at the board structure, reporting lines, and separation of duties.

4.       Strengthen your risk assessment process. Reassess risks, including emerging external risks, and quantify the impact more frequently. Add a preparedness, velocity, and resilience factor to the risk assessment matrix, and subject every area of the risk assessment to a reputational risk litmus test. Assess the impact of compounded interrelated risks that if combined could snowball into a higher risk priority, and look toward the future to anticipate the next emerging risk.

5.       Operate with a more flexible and adaptable audit plan. Reassess the audit universe regularly and change the audit plan to stay aligned with business objectives. Reprioritize resources to adapt to priority risks identified in the risk matrix, and shift assurance activities to risk management processes, operational controls, and cost containment/reduction and revenue enhancement activities. Keep an eye on what actions management is taking to cope in today’s environment.

6.       Serve as a risk management educator. Help management and the audit committee understand where they stand in the ERM curve and work together to fill in the gaps. Facilitate risk management workshops, and advocate a rigorous self-assessment process to provide broader risk review coverage. Facilitate risk discussions at every opportunity.

7.       Expand fraud testing in the audit plan. Incorporate technology to review a broader transaction universe for anomalies. Focus on recession-related risks, inventory shrinkage, overtime abuse, unauthorized accounts payables, and expense report padding.

8.       Strengthen business knowledge. Couple audit methodology with a deep understanding of the business; find out what you don’t know and fill in the gaps. Focus on business objectives and strategies, and ensure that your audit plan considers and addresses the strategic risks to the organization. Partner with risk champions to improve organizational knowledge.

9.       Strengthen your relationships and communications with the organization’s other governance, risk and control functions. Improve relationships with other risk and control groups, and meet with risk champions regularly. Build a strong relationship with management to stay abreast of business changes and strategies. Encourage open communication and sharing, facilitate risk discussion, and publish emerging risk lists.

10.   Enhance the efficiency of your audit processes. As your businesses revamp and re-engineer their processes to enhance efficiency and cost effectiveness, put internal audit processes to the same test. Look for ways to shorten reporting time, increase the use of technology, and challenge internal audit teams to increase their efficiency.

...AND FINALLY
 
                               LAUGH
 
                                              SO YOU DON'T CRY

The World’s Economic Viruses

Government Virus – Nothing seems to get better, but all the elected officials say it’s getting better.

Political Virus – Doesn’t actually do anything, but you can’t get rid of it until the next election.

Econometrician Virus – Sixty percent of the economies infected will lose 17 percent of their GDP 12 percent of the time (+/- a 2% margin of error).

Marxian Virus – Helps your economy go into a depression whenever it wants to.

Environmental Virus – Before allowing you to fix the recession, it first asks you if you’ve considered the alternatives.

Chinese Virus – Crashes your economy, but denies it ever happened and calls you a liar.

AIG Virus – Makes sure it’s too big to fail, while crashing everything else.

Stimulus Virus – Puts your economy in a recession for four years. When you finally recover, you’re 10 trillion more dollars in debt.

Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect

                     --- Mark Twain

We have never observed a great civilization with a population as old as the United States will have in the twenty-first century; we have never observed a great civilization that is as secular as we are apparently going to become; and we have had only half a century of experience with advanced welfare states...Charles Murray

Kella
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