• Dodd Seeks U.S. Inquiry Into Lehman’s Accounting [DealBook]
Late on Friday, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that the Department of Justice investigate Lehman Brothers' "accounting manipulation" that contributed to its bankruptcy. According to his letter, Dodd also wants the DOJ to investigate "other companies that may have engaged in similar accounting manipulation with a view to prosecution of employees or agents who contributed to any violations of the law."
With the exception of Lehman, Dodd did not name any companies specifically. He wrote, "We must work tirelessly to reduce the incidence of financial fraud in order to restore trust and confidence in the financial markets. A task force investigation and taking appropriate Federal actions in these matters will contribute to these goals."
• An Ernst & Young Response: Dear Audit Committee Member… [Re: The Auditors]
Ernst & Young is on the offensive, telling everyone who will listen their position on the results of the Bankruptcy Examiner's report. The ubiquitous Enron and Andersen comparisons in the MSM — while cliché and misleading — have motivated E&Y to reach to audit committee members that ulitmately decide whether E&Y will be providing services to their companies. Francine McKenna posted the letter noting, "I guess they know where their bread is buttered: With the guys who hire and fire them in the Fortune 500."
The firm addresses everything from the actual accounting, "The media reports that these were 'sham transactions' designed to off-load Lehman’s 'bad assets' are inaccurate," to whistleblower Matthew Lee's letter, "When we learned of the letter, our lead partner promptly called the Audit Committee Chair; we also insisted that Lehman’s management inform the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Bank of the letter."
Naturally, the firm plans to defend themselves vigorously stating, "EY is confident we will prevail should any of the potential claims identified against us be pursued."
• Obama Hails Vote on Health Care as Answering ‘the Call of History’ [NYT]
Last night, the Senate bill was approved by the House, 219-212, and it could be headed back to the Senate for final approval as early as this week. In a shocker, Democrat and GOP views on the bill don't seem to be converging as one Dem legislator described it as "the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century," while a GOP member described the bill as, "a fiscal Frankenstein."