Throughout the week, I heard the phrase "death penalty" applied more frequently to Andersen as a result of its indictment on obstruction of justice charges than I did in reference to the psychotic Houston mother who tragically drowned her five children.

After all, there's no one who could sanely argue that Andersen isn't running barefoot through a crowded cow pasture in terms of survival. Its audit clients are dropping them faster than I did physics and statistics classes in college, and resumes from Andersen employees have flooded virtually every career Internet portal. Some of its Big Five competitors have kicked the proverbial tires in terms of a possible merger, but thus far no one has asked for the keys. And with the crippling liability issues squarely in Andersen's headlights, could you blame them?

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