Saturday, October 24, 2009

do we know what we want to know and why we want to know it

I am not surprised that "Chapman Tripp are opposed to the proposal, within a discussion document put out by the Ministry of Economic Development, that all big companies file financial statements publicly. A similar proposal was shot down in 2006 with Chapman Tripp saying then that, “it would be a disincentive to invest in this country, it was an unwarranted intrusion of privacy and an unnecessary imposition of compliance costs.” The proposal may apply to law and accounting firms and also to companies owned by private families like the Talley and Todd families" and the main rationale behind the move is that there is a 'broad societal interest' in the financial health of large entities."

Would it be useful to know this information. Is it fair that this information is disclosed. Would the argument, “if you have nothing to hide then you have no problem.” be appropriate. It is hard to argue that these big entities do affect society in all sorts of ways. What actually do we want to know? Often we jump into solutions without understanding the problem. If disclosure of this information is the solution – what was the problem? Don't get me wrong my initial response was that this was a good thing to do, I just think the consideration of the problem may yield interesting insights.

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