New York (March 5, 2002) - From billionaire investor Warren Buffett exhorting shareholders to hold chief executives accountable for proper corporate disclosure, to Deloitte & Touche chief executive James Copeland reiterating his call for the formation of a body resembling the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate audit failures, a consortium of lawyers, money managers and academics voiced their post-Enron opinions on disclosure and auditor oversight at a conference here.
Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire-Hathaway, said "owners are better suited to discipline chief executives than have them disciplined by the courts." He later said the chief executive should be the 'chief disclosure officer' of his or her company, "because he or she determines the qualitative aspect of disclosure." Buffett added the MD&A section in disclosure reports should "read like a chief executive is writing to a partner who's been away for one year." He also said that it's up to the audit committees to be tough on the external auditors and ask hard questions.
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