Last month the U.S. Treasury Department gave vent to public outrage at the financial industry and ordered companies that were bailed out by government funds to reduce the basic salaries of their top 25 employees.
An accountant—so goes the joke—is someone who solves financial problems you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand. Doubtless the accountant jokes have gotten a lot nastier with news that the world’s largest accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, indulged in some unusually lax methods on behalf of the Enron corporation, apparently to retain lucrative consulting fees.
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