"For many years, I've had little confidence in the earnings numbers reported by most corporations. I'm not talking about Enron and WorldCom - examples of outright crookedness. Rather, I am referring to the legal, but improper, accounting methods used by chief executives to inflate reported earnings. The most flagrant deceptions have occurred in stock-option accounting and in assumptions about pension-fund returns. The aggregate misrepresentation in these two areas dwarfs the lies of Enron and WorldCom."
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