Seems like everyone is looking for someone to blame for the financial meltdown. I've started to think critically of my own profession and wondered did accountants miss the call? Is there something else that accountants could have done to reign in the leverage and exaggeratedly positive pricing models? Hard to find much supporting my suspicion, so I guess I'm on my own. What I do know is the as accountants we typically spend so much time focusing on minute details of accounting standards, I blame this on the last accounting crisis (post-Andersen and Enron and in the time of Sarbanes-Oxley), which focused accountants attention of very specific controls in the financial reporting process. However, the true risk that was missed was the larger (step-back) view and using a more holistic approach to assessing the overall business strategy of companies. In this the accountants may have dropped the ball again and the only thing people care about is mark-to-market!
So here's the end game...the accountants need to focus an equal amount of attention to being a trusted business advisor as to being a strict arbiter of the accounting rules.
Some accompanying reading...on economists missing the call and some mark-to-market reading.