a) Carillion, United Kingdom, 2018 Construction giant Carillion collapsed under the weight of a £1.5 billion debt. In May 2018, a UK parliamentary committee said its collapse was due to “recklessness, hubris and greed.” Accountants KPMG, which earned £1.5 million a year from the Carillion account, accused of rubberstamping figures that “misrepresented the reality of the business” as well as incurring a conflict of interest due to its work advising the pension scheme. b) Gupta, South Africa, 2018 Gupta Group, with business in mining, air travel, energy, technology and media, collapsed in February 2018, KPMG faced very heavy criticism over work done for the Guptas, with whom it had worked for 15 years until stepping down in 2016, and was forced to issue a public apology as well as withdrawing findings in a report used as evidence in a police probe. Ex-KPMG auditor Jacques Wessels was subsequently charged with inappropriate conduct and tax evasion. c) General Electric (GE), United States, 2018 At the beginning of 2018, it was announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was investigating its “aggressive accounting” practices, a probe that widened throughout the course of the year when in October 2018 its $22 billion non-cash charge related to acquisitions came under scrutiny, with the Department of Justice also launching an investigation. In June it was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the only member left of the original 1896 index. John L Flannery stepped down as Chairman and CEO. GE’s market value fell by more than $200 billion over two years. The relationship between the auditor KPMG and GE was described as “too cozy” –