Perhaps its poetic justice or maybe a bit ironic, that on the same day that President Bush signs the historic public accounting oversight and corporate governance reform legislation, IBM announces that it is acquiring PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting unit for $3.5 billion in cash and stock. And since everything comes in threes, add the July 30th SEC ruling by SEC Chief Accountant Robert Herdman, which will allow IBM to keep PwC as its auditor.

Put them all together and what do you get? You have a Big Five--sorry Big Four firm--divesting itself of a consulting unit that does the exact non-audit activities prohibited under the new legislation. Of course, the sale is to an audit client of the firm.

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