Ethics in Statistics

1465 Words Jun 16th, 2011 6 Pages
ASSIGNMENT: Ethics in Statistics

There are a number of possible ways in which unethical behavior can arise in statistics and researchers should steer clear of these. It is relatively simple to manipulate and hide data, projecting only what one desires and not what the numbers actually speak, thus giving birth to the famous phrase “Lies, damned lies and statistics”. However, this doesn’t happen all the time and there is no reason not to believe in the conclusions of a statistical analysis (Siddharth, 2010). Ethics in statistics is not straightforward and can be quite complex at times. It also greatly depends on what kind of statistical analysis is being done. Unethical behavior might arise at any point – from data collection to data
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Enron then created partnerships with lenders to keep the debt off its books. Chewco Investments was one of the partnerships that allowed Enron to keep $600 million in debt off the books it showed to the government and to people who own Enron stock (Norton).Seeing that this debt never appeared in Enron's reports, it made Enron seem extremely financially successful. Enron’s auditing firm, Andersen, one of the world’s five leading accounting firms at the time received millions of dollars the majority of which was not for auditing (North, 2005). Arthur Andersen allegedly applied irresponsible standards in their audits due to conflict of interest over the substantial consulting fees generated by Enron. In 2000, Arthur Andersen was paid $25 million in audit fees and $27 million in consulting fees (this amount accounted for roughly 27% of the audit fees of public clients for Arthur Andersen's Houston office). The auditors' methods were probed as either being completed for conflicted reasons or a lack of capability to sufficiently assess the financial convolutions Enron employed (Healy & Palepu, 2003).
Enron scandal resulted in shareholders loss amounting to nearly $11 billion when it plunged to less than $1 by the end of November 2001. When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began their investigation, Dynegy offered to purchase the company at a fire

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