The QUOMODOCUOMQUE blog caught GM cooking its books by pushing losses back to the previous half-year and getting “a sunny headline in the New York Times saying they ‘doubled their profit’.” This reminded me of the time that I noticed in what I think was some Nissan PR material about 30 billion yen that Nissan took an early charge for through what must have been a change in accounting rules, an income boost of 30 billion yen and a 60 billion yen year-on-year turnaround without selling a single extra car. This was important because Carlos Ghosn had said that he would resign if he could not return Nissan to profits in a year, so every little 30 billion yen helped. It was so obvious that even a person like me, who knew next to nothing about corporate accounting, could detect, yet I don’t recall any media accounts cricicizing Nissan or Ghosn on this point. So I wonder, what other gimmicks were used to make sure that Ghosn did lose his job?
Or so I remember; it’s been a long time, and this is not exactly my cup of tea. I’ll be happy to issue a correction if someone can show me otherwise. Until then, I’ll keep on suspecting that creative accounting is pretty common but that the mainstream media rarely catches it.