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Read the following text and do the vocabulary exercises below:

It’s not unusual these days to hear about large corporations that have become involved in some major financial scandal. Parmalat, Enron and Worldcom are three examples of corporate irregularity.

Some companies simply don’t record their losses, or they record them as loans to subsidiary companies that have been specially created for that purpose . Some companies record normal expenses as capital
, and remove them from the profit-and-loss account. In some cases, important movements of revenue are simply not recorded at all. They mysteriously disappear from the balance sheets.

Other accounting discrepancies may include suspiciously low interest payments, company investments that don’t exist, falsifying sales figures and removing money from the pension or social security funds of company workers. Corporate theft often involves billions of Euros. Many financial analysts agree that these cases are not “mistakes”, but illegal practices that have been going on for years.

Parmalat executives have admitted that they secretly stole at least 500 million euros ($630 million) and transferred it to a family-owned subsidiary. The financial director admitted “cut and paste” forgery, in which a document with Bank of America letterhead was scanned and then added to a document verifying a deposit account with that bank holding over $4.98 billion. The document was then passed through a fax machine several times in order to appear authentic.

The huge energy multinational corporation Enron is another example of bad business practice. Enron admitted to exaggerating earnings and hiding debt using a complex system. The company later went bankrupt, and hundreds of people lost their jobs.

WorldCom, like Enron, was another very successful company. They have now admitted that $3.8 billion of operating costs were treated as capital spending, forcing it to restate results for 2001 and the first quarter of 2002. With so many losses, Worldcom had to file for bankruptcy and default on its debt of $35 billion.

Corporate theft has become an unfortunate stain on international finance. Maybe it’s time for companies to resist financial pressure and consider the consequences to their shareholders and employees before they act illegally.

Read the text again and find words and expressions for the following definitions. Follow the example.  

to owe = deber, estar en deuda
forgery = falsificación
stain = mancha
Example: An amount of money that you owe

1. Not to pay money that you owe
2. An amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank
3. The opposite of profit
4. A company that is owned by a larger company
5. A document that shows how much money was received and spent by a company during a particular period of time
6. Costs of doing business resulting from generating revenue
7. The amount of money earned from sales of goods or services and money received as interest, rent, royalties etc.
8. A written statement showing the value of a company at a particular time
9. An amount of money that you collect, save, or invest
10. The money that a company spends on things such as buildings, equipment and machinery
11. All costs of running a business that are not included under the costs of producing the goods to be sold Answers
12. A situation in which a company has no money to pay what they owe and the obligation to pay debts is removed
13. A legal proceeding where you are officially saying that you do not have enough money to repay your outstanding loans and expenses

Listen Listen and repeat.

Match the verbs and nouns. Use the text to help you.

to file
to default
to take
to record
to go
to lose


Listen Listen and repeat.

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