Streams

Balancing the Books

Monday, April 28, 2014

 Jacob Soll explains how the use and misuse of financial bookkeeping has determined the fate of entire societies. Good accounting has created social stability, good governance, and economic prosperity. But bad accounting practices can have disastrous results, ranging from financial losses and debt to complete economic collapse. In The Reckoning, Soll, a MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient, explains the ways financial accounting is essential to building businesses, states, and even empires, and shows that neglected accounting has contributed to cycles of destruction, such as the 2008 financial crisis.

Guests:

Jacob Soll

Comments [9]

Anya Farion

Fascinating history

May. 04 2014 07:18 PM

Excellent interview and topic, really enjoyed it and has piqued my interest into a world I (like many others) naturally have been disinterested in.

The author really brought to life how fascinating it can be, and touches more than we realize.

Apr. 28 2014 01:46 PM
Neil

@Larry From Nyack -
The concept of encumbering funds is not new, and has been used in Government for quite some time. These days, most private entities are using it also.

Apr. 28 2014 01:44 PM
Beth

Surprised that Soll says his is the first history of accounting...perhaps the first popularized history? See Routledge New Works in Accounting History at http://www.routledge.com/books/series/routledge_new_works_in_accounting_history_SE0633/ for more histories. Looking forward to reading Soll's book.

Apr. 28 2014 01:41 PM
Beth

Surprised that Soll says his is the first history of accounting...perhaps the first popularized history? See Routledge New Works in Accounting History at http://www.routledge.com/books/series/routledge_new_works_in_accounting_history_SE0633/ for more histories. Looking forward to reading Soll's book.

Apr. 28 2014 01:40 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Leonard's 2+2 joke reminds me of a button that says, "2+2=5, for moderately large values of 2."

Apr. 28 2014 01:37 PM
Beth

What about Luca Pacioli?

Apr. 28 2014 01:32 PM
Larry from Nyack

Please ask your guest: When NYC was in Financial crisis in the 1970's, a new accounting scheme was introduced that involved "encumbrances" of funds. When was that invented and why is it important in government finance?

Apr. 28 2014 01:30 PM
Drew from East village

How do people not as gifted quantitatively learn more?

Apr. 28 2014 01:26 PM

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