September 21, 2019

Preliminary Analytics

Preliminary Analytics | 01.19.10

Thumbnail image for bored.jpgTyco to Buy Brink’s Home Security for $2 Billion – “Tyco International Ltd. announced plans to buy Brink’s Home Security Holdings Inc., also known as Broadview Security, for $2 billion, the first major acquisition for Tyco in eight years since the company was rocked by scandal and split into several pieces.” [WSJ]
Sitting Is a Silent Killer, Swedish Medics Warn Couch Potatoes – Desk jockeys too. [Bloomberg]
Who Would Miss the Big Four? – “Hardly anyone, says Jim Peterson.” [CPA Trendlines]
Special tax breaks proposed for Haitian earthquake relief donations – “Under a bipartisan House bill, if you contributed money to nonprofits providing relief to the stricken island nation, you would be able to deduct those donations on your 2009 tax return.” [Don’t Mess With Taxes]
More Men Marrying Wealthier Wives – This doesn’t mean that you get to stay home glued to the Playstation. [NYT]
Citigroup Loses $7.6 Billion on Costs to Repay Bailout Funds – The streak of three “profitable” quarters ends. [Bloomberg]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.18.10

Thumbnail image for dubai-the-world.jpgDefending Koss And Their Auditors: Just Loopy Distorted Feedback – Francine’s take on the Koss fraud. [Re: The Auditors]
Koss Corp. Fraud: Defending Grant Thornton? No. &ndsah; Tracey Coenen says Koss’ incestuous management deserves the blame regardless of GT’s obvious BFMs. [Fraud Files Blog]
Creditors put Dubai World debt up for sale – Some aren’t crazy about the whole Dubai World debt restructuring and are looking to dump the credit for “70 per cent of face value.” [FT]
Now and in the Future – Are people changing their maxed out credit card ways for good? [Financial Armageddon]
Wired on Wall Street: Trader Betrays a Friend – David Slaine is a mole for the Feds that “has provided leads on possible insider trading by others not yet implicated in a sprawling case involving hedge fund Galleon Group, people familiar with the matter say.” And he’ll definitely nail you if you don’t like to share: “In 1993, he triggered a fist-fight with a colleague on the trading floor after needling him because he wouldn’t share his french fries.” [WSJ]
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – We assume most of you are working but If you’re not, go volunteer. It won’t kill you. [MLKDay.gov]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.15.10

Thumbnail image for patsy_byrne.jpgTaxman misses 44 million calls – The British version anyway. That makes the IRS look like rock stars by comparison. [Accountancy Age]
Annals of Public Relations – Fortunately for us, Patrick Byrne doesn’t keep PR by his side at all times. [Gary Weiss]
If California Owes You, It Would Like to Pay You – “Across the state, 89,000 residents and businesses — including 2,315 here in San Francisco alone — are sitting on some $50 million in uncashed i.o.u.’s from the state, a souvenir of California’s most recent, but by no means its last, budget crisis.” [NYT]
Verizon Lowers Wireless Pricing Plans – “Verizon Wireless introduced lower wireless-pricing plans Friday, a move that’s likely to force rival AT&T Inc. to follow and could pressure margins on the carriers’ high-end business.” [WSJ]
GM Daewoo finance chief Mark James named Opel CFO – Missed opportunity, people. [Reuters]
Prince Tells Pandit ‘It’s Time to Deliver’ – No pressure. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.14.10

Thumbnail image for charlie rangel.jpgRep. Rangel “Unsure” if Congress Will Retroactively Reinstate Estate Tax – It seems that dying early in 2010 may still pay off. [TaxProf Blog]
E&Y best gay employer in accountancy – According to Stonewall, the gay advocacy group in the UK. [Accountancy Age]
Questions From A Future Blogger – Prof Albrecht answers them. [The Summa]
You Lose If You Don’t Snooze; Lost Sleep Can’t Be Recovered – You can’t argue with science people, get your billable hours and go home. Or, if you must, bring a sleeping bag to work. [Bloomberg]
Obama’s Bank Tax Seeks $90 Billion to Repay Bailout – “The tax on banks, insurance companies and brokerages with more than $50 billion in assets would start after June 30 and seek to collect $90 billion over 10 years”. [NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.13.10

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 140px-United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.pngSEC to Name Investigative Chiefs – Robert Khuzami will name the five new members of the dream team are expected to be named at a press conference today. [WSJ]
California Creditors See IOUs With Schwarzenegger Missing Obama – Those ‘skinny legs’ and ‘scrawny little arms’ comments are really working so well for Arnie. [Bloomberg]
Panel Seeks ‘Accountability’ In Financial Crisis – Once Phil Angelides (and others) get to the bottom of this, “There’s a need for accountability and responsibility” said Angelides, the blame will be official. That will be comforting for everyone. [NPR]
Questions for the Big Bankers – From some experts the NYT picked. The word “bonus” or “bonuses” appears ten times. [NYT]
Google Threat Jolts Chinese Internet Industry – Google has had it up to here (hand to forehead at least) with the censorship and is threatening to pull the plug altogether. [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.12.10

danny pang.jpgFinancier Pang’s Death Ruled a Suicide – The cause was ‘combined intoxication’ according to the OC coroner said. Seven drugs were found in Pang’s system including: xycodone, hydrocodone, drugs for anxiety and depression and traces of THC. [WSJ]
Obama Plans to Raise $120 Billion From Banking Fees – Here’s the good news: “Tax experts, who discussed the possibilities before the president’s plan was disclosed, say all of the administration’s structural options, which include an income surtax, an excise tax, or a fee pegged on the value of assets or some other measure, are likely to be so porous that financial institutions would be able to sidestep most of them.” [Bloomberg]
The IRS Is Auditing Harvard – One of forty that is part of the tax-exempt status review. [TaxProf Blog]
Guest bloggers needed – Blogging Suits is looking for a few good ones. Not the one where you talk about how smart your toddler is either. [Blogging Suits]
Google’s investment arm to grow partner ranks – The investment arm is “bringing more partners onboard as the $100 million fund seeks to build upon the eight investments it has made in companies since its launch last spring.” [Reuters]
SEC order helps maintain AIG bailout mystery – Mark your calendars for November 25, 2018. Then we’ll know everything. If anyone cares by then. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.11.10

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for geithner-tim.jpgGeithner Had No AIG Role, Says Official – Said official is Tom Baxter, General Counsel of the New York Fed. TB says that the situation ‘did not warrant the attention’ of TG. End of story. Darrell Issa isn’t buying what Bax is selling and has invited him to speak on the Hill about it later this month. Set the DVR. [WSJ]
Geithner Has Support of Obama, Democratic Lawmakers, Aides Say – Until he doesn’t have it, which could be any day now. [Bloomberg]
Banks Brace for Bonus Fury – “Critics of Wall Street firms are grumbling that this year’s bonuses are far too generous. But some recipients are none too happy, either: They’re complaining too much of the payout is coming in stock instead of cash.” [WSJ]
Investor Alwaleed says Citigroup “on right path” – As long as his highness is convinced, there’s no reason the rest of us shouldn’t feel better. [Reuters]
Did you donate for tax breaks? IRS wants proof – Such a bunch of sticklers. [CT]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.08.10

Thumbnail image for 300px-Toblerone-1.jpgOrder for UBS to release client data judged unlawful – Swiss Bank secrecy law were broken says a court in neutral (still, right?) land. [Reuters]
Sarkozy proposes ad tax on Google – What happened to taxing the stupid? [FT]
Fully Played Out? – “Can we assume that the downturn is fully played out, especially in light of reports and other evidence that people are (still) altering their behavior (e.g., spending less and saving more) in response to what’s going on around them?” [Financial Armageddon]
Overstock.com Staves Off Bankruptcy With ‘Hillary Clinton Nutcracker’ – For $37, they’ll throw in a Bill Clinton corkscrew. [Gary Weiss]
Good News for the Young and Unemployed &ndsah; Your Moms still love you! Plus the job market might be turning around. [The Atlantic]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.07.10

Thumbnail image for Tim_geithner.jpgGeithner’s New York Fed Told AIG to Limit Swaps Disclosure – “AIG said in a draft of a regulatory filing that the insurer paid banks, which included Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA, 100 cents on the dollar for credit-default swaps they bought from the firm. The New York Fed crossed out the reference, according to the e-mails, and AIG excluded the language when the filing was made public on Dec. 24, 2008.” [Bloomberg]
Climbing the Finance Ladder: Landing a Promotion [FINS]
Canadian Police Seek Man Accused of Ponzi Scheme – According to the SEC, the self-dubbed, “Chinese Warren Buffet” sent a letter to investors admitting that he was running a Ponzi scheme. That was easy. [AP via NYT]
Economic Consequences and the Political Nature of Accounting Standard Setting – “For decades it has been taught in every graduate accounting program in the country that accounting standards have economic consequences. As a result, I contend it is natural and predictable that competing economic interest attempt a political solution to proposed accounting standards.” [The Summa]
Accounting rules over M&A spread confusion – IFRS 3 is disappointing many. [FT]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.06.10

Thumbnail image for Raj.jpgGalleon’s Rajaratnam Paid Tipster, Filing Says – Raj’s total haul is now $36 mil with the new allegations. [WSJ]
Buffett Hits Kraft on Cadbury – You know it’s serious when the WB manages to avoid any metaphors that mention hookers, ED meds, or just copulation in general. [WSJ]
Bad Tax Prep Is A Symptom, Not the Disease – “[C]racking down on those seasonal shysters who abuse the system is only attacking a symptom of the real disease, which is our insanely complex tax code.” [Tax Vox]
The shortlist for worst takeover of the century – The Telegraph isn’t going to let Gerald Levin just claim this without throwing a few more options out there. [Telegraph]
Global Financial Regulation Overhaul Seen In 2010 – Got show some results, it’s an election year and all. [Reuters via NYT]
UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld deserves statue on Wall Street, not prison sentence – The man is a national treasure. [NYDN]
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd won’t seek reelection, will retire at end of term – New blood! [WaPo]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.05.10

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pwclogo.thumbnail.jpgCarlo di Florio Named Director of SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations – Somewhere a CPA wrangler is bellyaching. [SEC Press Release]
Domino’s CEO to Step Down – David Brandon is stepping down in 30 minutes or less to become athletic director at Michigan. [WSJ]
Dozens of Names Shifted to No-Fly List – Including everyone with the surname “Smyth”. If there’s no “i”, you can’t be trusted. [WSJ]
IMF study links lobbying by US banks to high-risk lending – “Powerful American banks spending lavishly on lobbying are more likely to engage in high-risk lending and their shares have performed less well than others, a groundbreaking study by the International Monetary Fund has found.” [Guardian]
Moving on Up: Getting a Raise – No one wants a repeat of last year. [FINS]
Kraft sweetens Cadbury offer as Nestle drops out – The $16 bllion being offered for cream eggs is deemed as ‘derisory’ by the Brits. Apparently they’re looking for something in the nabe of a gazillion. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 01.04.10

Thumbnail image for graduation.jpgFed Chief Edges Closer to Using Rates to Pop Bubbles – However, don’t even think that the low interest rates were the cause of the housing bubble, that was due lax regulation, thankyouverymuch. [WSJ]
Auditors Missing in the Financial Crisis — Readers Offer their Thoughts – “It’s not just that the Big Four tetrapoly fail the essential tests of insurability, although they do – because of sector concentration, unpredictability of losses and inability to quantify exposures. It’s also that if any such ‘super-audits’ actually existed, the auditors would surely be performing them already.” [Re: Balance]
Tax Person of the Year – How Charlie Rangel was even a nominee, we’ll never know. [TaxProf Blog]
Family Business Challenge: Attitude of Entitlement – “Someday all this will be yours” could have unintended consequences, like the kids screw up your life’s work. [The Exuberant Accountant]
Small Biz Exemptions from IFRS? – A la SOx. [The Summa]
Dubai’s “superscraper” makes history in hard times – After a couple of delays Burj Dubai is finally opening today and despite all the trubs in the Dubai lately, “experts” are saying that all 1,100 units are sold. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.30.09

Denver_fed ring toss.jpgKansas City Fed’s Denver Branch Gives Us a Peek into the Fed’s Secret Decision-Making Process – This should explain some things. [JDA]
Are lawsuits against CPA’s poised to spike? – “After a year of record-setting investor losses, a leading securities attorney warned that accounting firms will face a rising tide of enforcement actions and litigation in 2010, and should take steps to ensure their client relationship practices reflect recent court decisions.” [CPA Trendlines]
Jean Stephens, CEO RSM International – The make up sex between RSM and M&P gets a little attention but alas, no mention of NG. [Web CPA]
GMAC Set for Another Cash Infusion – According to those familiar with the sitch, GMAC is looking to get an additional $3.5 billion on top of the $12.5 bil that’s already been thrown at them. [WSJ]
FDIC Moves to Seize Slice of Bank-Stock Rallies – “Starting next year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will ask bidders for some seized banks to offer the agency a chance to profit if the deal is well-received by the buyer’s shareholders.” If banks are going to keep failing, why not get in on this action? [WSJ]
More ammo for the bazooka – Will the crack fiend aka the housing market score again? [Rolfe Winkler/Reuters]
Dutch To Use Full-Body Scanners For U.S. Flights – This is one of those hindsight situations. [AP]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.29.09

Thumbnail image for PettersSmile.jpgAP: Ponzi collapses nearly quadrupled in ’09 – Thimble-dick Bernie, Allen Stanford, Tom “Cocker Spaniel” Petters, all did their part. [via HuffPo]
The First Annual Jr Deputy Accountant Year in Review Awards (or some h*t) – Somehow we ended up on this list and somehow JDA managed to make it a backhanded compliment (we think). [JDA]
Koss financial records will get more scrutiny in 2010 – With comments from Tracy Coenen at Fraud Files. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
The Man Who Wired Silicon Valley – How Raj got the world by the short and curlies. [WSJ]
GM Plans Pontiac Fire Sale – “GM sent letters to dealers Dec. 23 saying it would pay them $7,000 for every new Saturn or Pontiac on their lot that is moved to rental-vehicle or service-vehicle fleets operated by the dealers.” So yes, they’ll seem extra pushy. [WSJ]
The Big Zero – As in the decade we’re finishing up. Prof. Krugman also quotes Diet Coke fiend Larry Summers stating that GAAP was the most important innovation in history and that it allows investors to make good decisions. According to PK, also a big zero. [Paul Krugman/NYT]
Spurious academic study of the day, Tiger Woods edition – Ball-parking investors’ losses due to TW’s cheating ways is not so easy, nay, ridiculous. [Felix Salmon/Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.28.09

Thumbnail image for patsy_byrne.jpgA Modest List of Financial Analysis ‘Red Flags’ – “Patrick Byrne is the CEO” isn’t one of them but Overstock.com does get mentioned. [The Accounting Onion]
Tax Vox’s Lump of Coal Award: The Worst Tax Ideas of 2009 – California gets its very own spot at #4. [Tax Vox]
War on Wall Street as Congress Sees Returning to Glass-Steagall – Bank break up courtesy of Maverick? [Bloomberg]
How the VP of Finance at Koss steals millions – “For the year ended 6/30/09, Koss had sales of $38.2 million and profits of $2 million. For the year ended 6/30/08, Koss had sales of $50 million and profits of $4.5 million. If Sachdeva stole $20 million over the last four years, that’s $5 million per year…. and far exceeds the profits for the last couple of years. How did no one notice?” [The Fraud Files Blog]
New security restrictions could hurt airlines – As if they needed help. [Reuters]
Black Eyed Peas Didn’t File Tax Returns for Years – Due to ‘an inadvertent oversight’. [Web CPA]
Gee, Who WASN’T Bribed? – This involves one large process of elimination. [The Market Ticker]
We understand that the first day back after the Christmas break could be one of the worst on the entire year. Especially if you’re one of the few actually working. We’ll check in with you unfortunate souls later today.

Preliminary Analytics | 12.24.09

Thumbnail image for HolidayParty.jpgBear Stearns Staff Parties On as Surviving Banks Scrap Soirees – That’s the spirit! You can still party even though you didn’t get bonuses! [Bloomberg]
Senate Passes Sweeping Health-Care Bill – Santa? [WSJ]
Grant Thornton LLP elects one new member to partnership board [Press Release]
Dimon, Blankfein, Mack Among First to Testify at Crisis Panel – Set your DVRs now! [Bloomberg]
The Impact of the Tiger Woods Scandal on His Charities [TaxProf Blog]
Buffett’s back – A non-Tiger Woods story from the Post. [NYP]
The Newlywed Game, Year-end Tax Planning Edition! – “Love is a many-splendored thing, but love is even better when it saves taxes. Your marital status at year-end is your filing status for the entire year, so maybe you want to run down to the courthouse and tie the knot before the ball drops before midnight January 1, local time. Sure, call me a hopeless romantic. The Tax Update just rolls that way.” [Tax Update Blog]
Disliking Your In-Laws – Annnnnd this is where the tax planning will get you. [Motherlode/NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.23.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for allen_stanford_1110321c.jpgStanford again seeks bail – Dude is crackin’ [Houston Chronicle]
Blackberry users faced e-mail outage Tuesday evening, less than a week after previous outage – Speaking of crackin’. [CT]
Citi Denies Theft Report, Says Accounts Are Safe – Apparently the Journal is in the business of publishing fake news as Citi continues to maintain that there’s “Nothing to see here.” [WSJ]
AIG executives’ promises to return bonuses have gone largely unfulfilled – All the populist rage was totally worth it. [Washington Post]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.22.09

Thumbnail image for dubai-the-world.jpgDubai World fails to seal deal on debt talks – Even though DW is insisiting that the talks have been “constructive.” [Times Online]
Marijuana-Reeking Tour Bus, Red Ferrari Are FDIC’s Crisis Booty – Not to mention ashtrays with dead cigarette butts. These guys will take everything. [Bloomberg]
FBI Probes Hack at Citibank – The bank deee-nies that there was a breach so you have the less than desirable option of believing the B or the C. [WSJ]
World Series Champs Pay Hefty Luxury Tax – Tax Girl is not a Yankee fan. [Tax Girl]
U.K. Backs Merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation – Somehow the Brits came to this conclusion: ‘[T]he merger will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing or in any other market.’ [NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.21.09

angelo_mozilo.jpgHealth-care bill clears crucial vote in Senate, 60 to 40 – “The vote was the first of three procedural hurdles that Democrats must cross before a final vote on passage of the measure, now scheduled for Christmas Eve.” [Washington Post]
Bye-bye Bo-Tax. Hello, Tan Tax – Angelo Mozilo will not stand for this. [Don’t Mess With Taxes]
Top Ten Ways to Ensure a Smooth Audit – Communication seems to be a theme. There’s a concept. [Mission Accountable]
An Inside Look at JPMorgan Outplacement [FINS]
Dubai World poised to press for loan extensions – No word if DW plans on actually paying the loans back. [Reuters]
IRS Files $8.15 million in Tax Liens Against Sinbad – Despite filing tax returns, Sinbad didn’t pay the tax owed from 1998 to 2006. [TaxProf Blog]
2009: The Year of the Failed Banks – Seven more this past Friday, bringing the total to 140. [The D&O Diary]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.18.09

sarbox.jpgStalling on Sarbox – “The regulatory-reform bill passed by the House last week suggests that lawmakers will either exempt smaller companies from getting internal-controls audits or put off the decision for yet another year.” Hell, it’s only been seven years. What’s one more? [CFO]
Agencies in a Brawl for Control Over Banks – “Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, has proposed revoking almost all of [FDIC Chair Sheila] Bair’s powers to supervise banks, as part of a sweeping financial-regulation bill now under consideration in the Senate.” [WSJ]
Blue Ribbon Panel On Private Company Accounting Standards Formed – Blue Ribbon Panels always mean that something is about to get serious. Right? [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
Should Gay Couples Pay the Same Taxes as Straights? – Even if a state allows gay couples to marry, they aren’t recognized on the federal level and that causes problems, “[M]any businesses now provide spousal benefits to gay couples, the value of the non-employee’s benefits is taxable for unmarried couples, but tax free for those who are married.” [Tax Vox]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.17.09

ben_old.jpgBen Bernanke: Time’s “Person of the Year” – The JDA almost fools you into thinking that she wasn’t that upset over Time’s selection. [JDA]
BofA Taps Moynihan as CEO – The search is now on for the location for the Ken Lewis send-off. [WSJ]
Proxy Disclosure Of Stock-Based Comp To Change Under SEC Final Rule Approved Today [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
SAC Capital, Steve Cohen (And His Brother) Sued By Ex-Mrs. C – She’s alleging insider trading, concealing of assets during their divorce, and wants $300 mil for her trouble. [DB]
Citi to Suspend Foreclosures for 30 Days – “The New York-based bank said Thursday the suspension will run from Friday through Jan. 17. It applies only to borrowers whose loans are owned by Citi. Borrowers who make payments to Citi but whose loans are owned by other investors are out of luck.” [AP via NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.16.09

Thumbnail image for Tim_geithner.jpgU.S. gave up billions in tax money in deal for Citigroup’s bailout repayment – “While the Obama administration has said taxpayers are likely to profit from the sale of the Citigroup shares, accounting experts said the lost tax revenue could easily outstrip those profits.” Thanks Treasury! [WP]
The Estate Tax Debate: Watch the Rate, Not the Exclusion – “In some perverse way, it’s fun to watch lawmakers dive into a mess largely of their own making. But as you do, don’t be distracted by the argument over the size of estates that should be excluded from tax, or whether the rules are extended for one year or two. The real argument is over the rate. That’s where the bucks are.” [Tax Vox]
Lump of Coal: How to Deal With a Bad Bonus – Besides crying in the corner obviously. [FINS]
Rajaratnam, Chiesi Charged in Insider Case – Raj is looking at 17 counts and a possible 145 years. All over a measly $20 million? Someone in North Carolina is unimpressed. [WSJ]
SEC Mulls Surprise Audits For Investment Advisers – “Under the May proposal, the surprise audit would apply to about 9,600 of the 11,000 registered investment advisers including those who have physical custody and those deemed to have custody or the ability to deduct fees from their client’s assets.” [Reuters via NYT]
EU Formally Ends Microsoft Antitrust Case – “The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, agreed to abandon its case against Microsoft over whether the software giant is illegally abusing its dominance in the Internet browser markets without a fine, in return for a legally binding commitment from Microsoft to start marketing rivals’ browsers alongside its own Internet Explorer.” Doesn’t everyone hate Explorer now anyway? [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.15.09

BuffettCarriesLunch.standard.jpgObama and Buffett May Be Distant Cousins – So there’s that. [NYT]
Continuing The Conversation: If Auditors Weren’t There, Why Not? – “If no one but me asks, since no one cares, then what are we doing here?” [Re: The Auditors]
Christmas Gift Ideas for Accountants & Auditors – A “genuine and truly useful list” that will help you avoid the ‘Accountants do it with Double Entry’ t-shirt. [The Accounting Nation]
Wells Fargo’s TARP Plan Brings End to Bailout Era – Oh, so it’s an “era” now? [DealBook]
Four Cups of Coffee or Tea Daily Lowers Diabetes Risk – Just keep the breath freshener handy. Thanks. [Bloomberg]
Christmas Gifts for that Special Tax Person – For the accountant who also enjoys the occasional WWE event. [TaxProf Blog]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.14.09

Thumbnail image for name-change.jpgH.R. 4173, Summary of Accounting and Audit Related Provisions – Lots to digest here but it’s all important, including a possible GASP name change for the PCAOB. [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
Invitation to a Conversation: If the Auditors Were Missing from the Financial Crisis — Let’s Ask Why – Jim Peterson doesn’t mince words: “The simple if depressing reason is that their core product has long since been judged irrelevant. The standard auditor’s report is an anachronism — having lost any value it may once have had, except for legally-required compliance.” [Re: Balance/Jim Peterson]
Accenture Makes Right Decision, Drops Tiger Sponsorship – The awkward inappropriateness of the whole situation is now hitting T. Dubs in the wallet, as Accenture jumps into the “your services are no longer needed” camp. He won’t starve. [The Big Four Blog]
Open Letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (Part 5): Issuer Retaliation Complaint Against Overstock.com – Patrick Byrne’s attempt to develop his own Richard Nixon-esque enemies list has been met with fierce resistance. [Sam Antar/White Collar Fraud]
CPA firms face pricing pinch – “After years of gains since the government started keeping track in December 2003, overall prices for CPA firm services plummeted with the onset of recession in December 2007.” [CPA Trendlines]
Citigroup to Repay $20 Billion of Government Bailout – $25 bil to go. Get on it. [Bloomberg]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.11.09

Thumbnail image for DTa.jpgDeloitte appoints new climate change chief – Kiwi Nick Main is the new HMFIC. [Accountancy Age]
Loopholes Lurk in Bank Bill – “Referring to USAA, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) said the House has ‘been supportive of them and the US military. There’s no remote prospect of them being a problem.’ Lawmakers wouldn’t identify the lawmaker who requested the exemption.” [WSJ]
Boeing says Dreamliner could fly on Dec 15 – Just feeling it out. No word on the debut with crying babies and obese passengers. [Reuters]
Craigslist Founder Says eBay Reneged on Promises – Specifically you, Meg Whitman. [AP via NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.10.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 140px-United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.pngSEC’s Khuzami ‘Skeptical’ of Auditors’ Claims on Privilege – Privlege shmivlege. [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
Obama Proposes $12,000 “Cash for Caulkers” Program – Including the most immature montage ever. [TaxProf Blog]
Overstock.com and Patrick Byrne Have an Enemies List That Includes Friends and Family Members of Critics – Using Facebook no less. Anyone surprised? [Sam Antar/White Collar Fraud]
Madoff Auditor Plea May Signal Other Probe – Tax charges thrown in with David Friehling’s guilty plea may indicate that prosecutors may be building a case against other Friehling clients including the Madoff sons. [WSJ]
Broadcom Co-Founder Cleared in Backdating Probe – “U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney made the announcement after Samueli, owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, spent two days testifying for the defense in the fraud trial of a former executive for the telecommunications chip maker. ”You have restored my faith in the criminal justice system,” an exhilarated Samueli told the judge in federal court in Santa Ana.” Avoiding prison will do that. [AP via NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.09.09

Tim_geithner.jpgGeithner Said to Be Seeking TARP Extension Until Next October – Timmay is expected to scribe a letter to Congress letting them know about the little extension. [Bloomberg]
Standard Chartered Sees No ‘Material’ Impairments in Dubai – Let’s remember this for future reference. [WSJ]
Lessons Lost – Gary Weiss links to GC in his remembrance of Enron. Does anyone else remember Enron? [Portfolio]
Obama’s Stimulus II – BO wants to help small business by letting them “eliminate capital gains taxes on the sale of small firms, allow them to continue to expense capital investment, and give them tax breaks for hiring new workers.” Sounds nice but Howard Gleckman says, “It’s a bit like throwing a drowning man a 64-inch flat panel TV. He might love to have one, but not right now.” [Tax Policy Center]
U.S. SEC Sues to Freeze Assets Of ‘Ponzi Scheme’ – Rockford Funding Group LLC, come on down! [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.08.09

you are fired.jpgHelp, I Want to Fire a Family Member from the Business – What to do when you when that idiot relative has to go. [The Exuberant Accountant]
Blogs We Like – Blogging Suits likes us. And our contributors. Thanks to Tracy Coenen for including us! [Blogging Suits]
They Weren’t There: Auditors And The Financial Crisis – If you’ve been waiting to read a post from Francine that is complitmentary to the Big 4, you’ll have to keep waiting. [Re: The Auditors]
Dubai “needs more time”; investor confidence hit – As the past has shown us, if Moody’s gets to the point where it actually has to downgrade you, that’s not a good sign. [Reuters]
Non-Reform of Rating Agencies – Speaking of Moody’s. Were they involved in this whole meltdown? [Naked Capitalism]
Green Mountain Wins Diedrich Coffee – Green Mountain out-charmed Peet’s Coffee & Tea in this particular love triangle. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.07.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for tiger-woods-buick-enclave1.jpgTaking Tiger By the Tax Tale – Two things are for sure, Elin will come out of this thing just fine and Uncle Sam will certainly be looking for his cut. [Tax Girl]
Fresh Pay Skirmish Erupts at AIG – Pseudo-government employees continue to threaten to jump ship if their civic-duty comp is cut too much by the pay master. [WSJ]
Going to School on Revenue Recognition – Tom Selling digs into Apollo Group, Inc.’s (parent of University of Phoenix) SEC filings to try and figure out what the Commish might be interested in. [The Accounting Onion]
Bloomberg eyes more acquisitions – In its quest for world domination of financial information, the ‘Berg is “planning a further year of aggressive investment and may make more acquisitions”. [FT]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.04.09

graduation.jpgBe fair to Bernanke – Steve Rattner, former car czar, makes the case for the Beard. [WP]
New Jersey Losing $22,000-a-Day With Swap for Bonds Never Sold – The Garden State owes the Bank of Montreal $23.5 million: “The sum, about the same as the salaries for 113 teachers over three years, will allow it to avoid a $50 million penalty for canceling the contract, which was tied to planned sales of school-construction bonds.” [Bloomberg]
Chávez Spurs Bank Fears – The next big mess? ‘It’s going to blow…It’s just a matter of time.’ [WSJ]
Petters Plans Appeal of $3.5B Fraud Conviction – “Efforts to recover money to compensate victims will likely net only pennies on the dollar, and prosecutors have not ruled out new charges against others.” [AP via NYT]
The PCAOB Wants an Increase in Its Allowance – JDA, always wanting to be helpful, has some suggestions for the PCAOB. [JDA]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.03.09

Thumbnail image for tax man.jpgEstate Tax Debate to Begin in U.S. House Amid Clash on Limits – Can this get sorted out in four weeks? “Unless Congress acts, the estate tax would be replaced in 2010 by a capital gains tax on all but the first $1.3 million in inherited assets including homes, stock certificates, stamp collections and livestock.” [Bloomberg]
Goldman Takes Offensive on Pay – Explaining why the Almighty’s foot soldiers are worth every penny to investors should be a snap. [WSJ]
Tax Cut-Off for Deductible Donations – “Few things upset a year end donor more than being told his gift will not count as a current year contribution and thus not be a current year IRS tax deduction.” [Aronson Nonprofit Report]
The NBC Universal Sale, by the Numbers – This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? [DealBook]
Comcast Readies Itself for Long Regulatory Fight – Oh right, there is the small matter of convincing the Feds that this is good for everyone. [Media Decoder/NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.02.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 140px-United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.pngSEC Steps Up Insider-Trading Probes – Healthcare and retail mergers from the last three years are getting the scope. [WSJ]
Why accountants need to be bloggers – Tracy Coenen makes the convincing argument. [Blogging Suits]
Catholic Archdiocese to Pay $14.4 million in Taxes to City of San Francisco – Too bad The money is already spent. [JDA]
Wells Fargo to shut 122 branches in California – Mostly Wachovia branches that are too close to existing stagecoach branches. [Los Angeles Times]
Whisky Makers Spend $800 Million to Age Scotch for China, India – Apparently, the Chinese and Indians are into the Glens. [Bloomberg]

Preliminary Analytics | 12.01.09

guns_bible.jpgArming Goldman With Pistols Against Public: Alice Schroeder – Team Jehovah is packing. [Bloomberg]
Federal Estate Tax Bill Up for A Vote – Four weeks to go until the estate tax is repealed and now Congress is trying to vote on legislation to extend it. The original repeal passed in 2001. Our representatives at work. [Tax Girl]
Grant Thornton LLP launches Aerospace and Defense industry group – Forget the “Global 6” thing, this will make GT an intergalactic firm. [Press Release]
Ensuring Integrity: 4th Annual Audit Conference – Short on CPE? Get seven hours over at Baruch tomorrow for $345. Jim Peterson of Re: Balance will be on one of the panels and the keynote will be given by Robert Kueppers, Deputy CEO of Deloitte. [Baruch College]
GE, Vivendi Forge Tentative Deal on NBC Stake – How does Jack Donaghy feel about this? [WSJ]
Rothstein surrenders himself to the FBI – “Rather than a formal indictment, federal authorities will file what is known as ‘an information’ that would suggest that Rothstein has already agreed to eventually plead guilty.” [Miami Herald]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.30.09

rich rod.jpgMichigan Coach Rodriguez and the Tax Man – UM is paying $2.5 million of Rich Rod’s buyout obligation. The IRS might want to call that income. [TaxProf Blog]
Why Accounting Matters – It matter. Why else would so many people (read: government bureaucracies) covet the oversight of it? [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
Suing Audit Firms re: Madoff: The Iguana In The Room – “Issues of control and the issues of the ‘agency’ relationship between the auditors’ international umbrella ‘coordinating’ firms and their member firms figure prominently in the Madoff feeder funds filings that include the international firms as defendants.” [Re: The Auditors]
Jr Deputy Accountant Interviewed by Liberty Pulse’s the Pulse – Topics include Tim Geithner’s uncanny resemblance to Beavis. [JDA]
Buyers Take a Pass on Some Failed Banks – Banks that seemingly have leprosy. [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.27.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for becks.jpg• Have a wonderful Buy Nothing Day friends. We’ll check on you gluttons for punishment (i.e. those of you working) later today.
I’m a celebrity, get me out of Dubai! – Including you-know-who. [FT Alphaville]
India Mahindra Satyam hit by new charges; outlook uncertain – Apparently this fraud could be way larger than the $1.5 initially reported. [Reuters]
Open Letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (Part 4): Patrick Byrne Ignores Real Issues As He Vilifies Grant Thornton – “I am not surprised by Patrick Byrne’s desperate lies given that every single financial report issued by the company since its inception has at least initially failed to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and SEC disclosure rules.” [Sam Antar/White Collar Fraud]
You Lie! No, You Lie! – In case you can’t get enough of Patrick Byrne [Floyd Norris/NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.25.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for overwhelmed.jpgSixty-Five Percent of Nevada Homeowners Underwater – That’s a lot. [The Atlantic]
Tax Burdens, Around the World – If you like to complain about taxes, move to Denmark. [Economix/NYT]
From the Hospital to Bankruptcy Court – “Last summer, Harvard researchers published a headline-grabbing paper that concluded that illness or medical bills contributed to 62 percent of bankruptcies in 2007, up from about half in 2001. More than three-fourths of those with medical debt had health insurance.” [NYT]
Microsoft CFO to leave, look for bigger job – Team Jehovah must need someone. [Reuters]
Diners Club franchise sold – The Citigroup garage sale continues. [CT]
Leadership: A Guest Post from Tenacious Truman [RTA]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.24.09

TOLD YOU.jpgSuppressing Workplace Anger Doubles Heart Attack Risk in Study – In other words, flipping out on someone is good for your health. [Bloomberg]
Death of Ward M. Hussey – Mr. Hussey was the primary drafter of the 1954 and 1986 Internal Revenue Codes. [TaxProf Blog]
Freddie says TBW-related loss may grow, files claim – The comforting part is that they really don’t know what the total exposure is. [Reuters]
On the Other Side of the Table – Not even the Tax Girl is safe from an IRS audit. [Tax Girl]
Heeding the Populist Call – “Fearful of a voter revolt, Washington is beginning to rethink its industry-friendly stance. ” [Financial Armageddon]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.23.09

james_dimon.jpgJamie Dimon seen as good fit for Treasury – Seems possible since JD and BO go way back to when Dimon was at Bank One. Plus, according to some, JD would ‘love to serve his country’ but according to others, he plans on staying at JPM for ‘six or seven years.’ This is a toss up at best. [NYP]
These Men Could Kill SarbOx – And they’re doing it pro bono. [BW]
Aluminum Bubble Concerns Mount as Surplus May Add 29% – ‘There’s a disconnect between the price and reality.’ That sounds familiar. [Bloomberg]
Zynga May Be Valued at $1 Billion Feeding Off Facebook Craze – Zynga is movin’ up in Farmville bitches but there are no plans for a public offering, according to the CEO. That would be a distraction from developing new $3 chicken coops and the like. [Bloomberg]
G.M. Is Taking Taxpayers for a Ride – In case you weren’t convinced. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.20.09

Thumbnail image for buffet-and-blankfein.jpgGoldman Holders Miffed at Bonuses – And there’s bellyaching that GS is trying to pull a fast one by including temps to pull down the comp per employee. Sneaky. [WSJ]
EBay completes sale of Skype – The auction block gets $2 billion and still retains a 30% stake. [Reuters]
SEC Told to Improve Ways It Chooses Probe Targets – Eenie, meenie, miney, moe just won’t cut it anymore. [AP via NYT]
US House Panel Approves A Toned-Down Accounting Proposal – After amendments, the final word on all things FASB remains with the SEC. [Dow Jones]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.19.09

money.jpgBetter Paydays Ahead – “Many employers are planning to reinstate merit increases in 2010, but some compensation experts say base salaries are unlikely to return to pre-recession levels anytime soon, if ever.” Probably not what you had in mind. [WSJ]
Reid $849 Billion Measure Widens Health Coverage, Cuts Deficit – “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled an $849 billion health-care plan that would create new government competition for private insurers, cover almost all Americans and raise a payroll tax on the highest earners.” [Bloomberg]
Democratic Rep. DeFazio Calls for Geithner and Summers to Be Fired – This smells desperate. [Naked Capitalism]
Exclusive: GM Must Pay Debt, Make Money Before IPO – ” General Motors should focus on making money and repaying U.S. Treasury loans before turning to public markets to sell the taxpayer’s stake in the automaker.” Seems like a reasonable strategy. [Reuters via NYT]
Bill Richardson’s Awkward Link To Alleged Ponzi Schemer – Apparently Hassan Nemazee’s firm has a four year contract to manage money for the Land of Enchantment. Yeah, that is awkward. [Forbes]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.18.09

Thumbnail image for buffet-and-blankfein.jpgGoldman, Buffett Team to Aid Small Businesses – WB says some small business need some help with certain things, ‘Sometimes people lack basic business skills, like accounting.’ Accounting and folksy sexual innuendos? He’s already got it figured out. Take note people. [WSJ]
How to Wreck Your Company’s Valuation – Step 1: Hire an auditor of questionable ethics. [CFO]
Lions Ex-Stadium, Once Super Bowl Host, Sells for $7.25 a Seat – Or $583,000. [Bloomberg]
Chance of Great Depression Now 5%… – 20 to 1? Takers? [Brad DeLong]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.17.09

graduation.jpgBernanke Signals ‘Extended’ Low-Rate Period May Become Longer – In other words, we’re going to start blowing bubbles. Don’t worry, it’s fun! [Bloomberg]
America’s Newest Land Baron: FDIC – Anyone looking for “a failed condo development on a noisy freeway ramp next to a Motel 6, a Waffle House and a Do-It-Yourself Pest Control.” Sheila Bair is selling. [WSJ]
Volcker Criticizes Accounting Proposal – Criticism like the idea for the Treasury Department, FDIC, and the Fed to oversee accounting rules is ‘terrible’. [NYT]
Playboy CFO Resigining – Linda Havard is ‘looking forward to new challenges’ after a dozen years on the job. Tracking Viagra expenses for the founder just doesn’t float her boat anymore. [CT]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.16.09

accountant.jpgStudy Suggests Accounting for Contingencies Needs Help – Environmental liabilities aren’t reflecting the actual cash paid. [Compliance Week]
Bankruptcy Rise Slows With Thaw In Lending – “Now corporate failures have slowed, as companies once on the verge of default have found a new life. These companies are now refinancing their balance sheets with new debt, pushing out maturities on existing loans or using distressed-debt exchanges to avoid a bankruptcy filing.” [WSJ]
GM to begin repaying government loans – “[GM] reported a positive operating cash flow of $3.3bn, but cautioned that this would not be repeated in the fourth quarter and that its cash reserves would be ‘materially lower’ at the end of the year.” [FT]
Xtremely restless: Recession intensifies Gen X’s ‘middle child’ syndrome, urge to job hop – Let’s just blame everything on the recession, shall we? [CT]
Should paid sick days be the law? – Or maybe going to work sick should be against the law. [NYDN]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.13.09

hong-kong.jpgAfter Switzerland, U.S. Said to Aim at Hong Kong – You offshore money will be found. [DealBook]
The Dilbert Guide to Angry Investing – [Idea of the Day/NYT]
Alleged Ponzi Scheme Likely To Top $1 Billion, FBI Says – In the Ponzi du jour, Scott Rubenstein is accused of selling bogus legal settlements to investors. [WSJ]
Roomy Khan Tipped Several People In Galleon CaseDiabolical. [Reuters via NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.12.09

fingers crossed.jpgCostco CFO: Fingers crossed consumers will spend – Sounds like a winning strategy. [Reuters]
Wall Street Faces ‘Live Ammo’ as Congress Aims to Unravel Banks – The bank lobby is finally a little concerned that this break up of TBTF is for real… [Bloomberg]
The Kanjorski “We’re Tough on TBTF” Headfake – …or maybe they’re just playing along. [Naked Capitalism]
White House Aims to Cut Deficit With TARP Cash – Not only that, there’s talk of, GASP, tax reform: “[Office of Management and Budget] is also reviewing a host of tax changes. The President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board will submit tax-policy options by Dec. 5, including simplifying the tax code and revamping the corporate tax code.” [WSJ]
G.E. Sells Security Unit for $1.8 Billion – The industrial conglomerate is a little less conglomerate-y, saying the fire alarm and security unit is a “noncore” business. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.11.09

chris-dodd-d.jpgRemember our Veterans today. [NYT]
Chris Dodd Stripping Down the Fed and OMG Loller Dollar Rally – MSM has all sorts of opinions. JDA’s is still the most honest. [JDA]
AIG’s Benmosche Threatens to Jump Ship – Let this be a lesson friends. Quitting is always an option. [WSJ]
Boston Provident CFO charged with fraud – Ezra Levy swiped $1.3 million from the hedge fund. You can get in trouble for amounts that small? [FT]
Landing That First Job – Are you filled with “piss and vinegar”? Bill Kennedy advises against that. [Energized Accounting]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.10.09

Thumbnail image for box of receipts.jpgWhy Paper Receipts Won’t Die – Tax return preparers wouldn’t have any shoeboxes jammed with them dropped off on their desks anymore. It’s sad to imagine that. [Idea of the Day/NYT]
FDIC’s 20% Shorter ‘Merit’ Reviews Preceded Banking Failures – “At least three U.S. banks failed in the past year after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. deemed them healthy enough to qualify for a program that reduced the time examiners spent on reviews by at least 20 percent.” [Bloomberg]
Deal to Buy Sun Meets Opposition From EU Although, those pesky Europeans are a little more curious about Oracle dominating the database universe, it won’t necessarily put the kibosh on the deal. In other news, Larry Ellison likes boats. [WSJ]
Bear Trial Jurors Ask for Evidence and Day Off – Doing your civic duty includes observing federal holidays. [DealBook]
Madoff’s Crap Sold Off in “Garage Sale” Victims Benefit – Including a Mets jacket and post-it notes. [JDA]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.09.09

Thumbnail image for buffet-and-blankfein.jpgI’m doing ‘God’s work’. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs – Hey! Us too! [Times Online]
Bear Stearns Casualty Earns $1.6 Million at Poker World Series – Steven Begleiter was a 24 year vet at Bear Stearns who sat on the bank’s management and compensation committees. [Bloomberg]
Health Bill Faces Senate Heat – “If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) said on Fox News Sunday. With the passage of the House bill, Congress moved closer than ever to providing Americans with near-universal health insurance” [WSJ]
Kraft Makes $16.3 Billion Hostile Bid for Cadbury – Kraft is done playing. They want confections and they want them now. [NYT]
Bad credit card debts ‘will soar’ – “Bad credit card debts may reach as much as 9% of all outstanding balances by the end of next year,” according to PwC. [BBC]
• Don’t forget to submit your caption on the Feed the Pig at the NYC Marathon caption contest!

Preliminary Analytics | 11.06.09

Thumbnail image for IRS_logo-thumb-150x140.jpgHow to Audit-Proof Your Tax Return: Don’t e-File – Those IRS reviewers aren’t too keen on looking at numbers on paper. [TaxProf Blog]
Unemployment in U.S. Jumps to 10.2%, Payrolls Fall by 190,000 – Double digits for the first time since ’83 [Bloomberg]
AIG posts second consecutive quarterly profit – $455 million is not going to cut it. Step it up AIG. [Reuters]
Inside-Trade Probe Snares ‘Octopussy’Whew. Without nicknames, this story wouldn’t be taken nearly as seriously. [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.05.09

TickerTapeParade.jpgBack on Top, Yankees Add a 27th Title – Economic recovery is secure. Now who’s paying for the parade? [NYT]
Senate approves jobless, housing aid – The crazies in the House are up next. [Reuters]
When Will the S.E.C. Ever Admit They Made a Mistake? – Joe Nocera understands who were talking about, right? [Joe Nocera/NYT]
A smooth IASB and an impairment change – “Corporate disclosures are about to get even longer if the International Accounting Standards Board gets its way.” [FT Alphaville]
Sarbanes-Oxley Exemption Passes Congressional Committee – “[N]ot only exempt[s] small businesses (with less than $75 million market cap), but would require the SEC, together with the GAO, to conduct a study directed at reducing the burden of Sarbox 404b on companies with market cap between $75 million and $250 million.” [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.04.09

buffet-and-blankfein.jpgBuffett Joins Goldman in Bid for Fannie Mae Tax Credits – “The credits are virtually worthless to Fannie Mae and require the company to take losses each quarter as their value declines. Companies such as Berkshire Hathaway and Goldman Sachs could use them to offset federal tax expenses.” Who doesn’t hate seeing good tax credits go to waste? [WSJ]
Congress Poised to Keep Homebuyers’ Tax Credit – Despite toddlers’ insistence of homeownership and widespread SNAFUs, the bill could pass as early as today. [NYT]
AT&T sues Verizon – AT&T doesn’t think the map commercials are funny or accurate. [NYP]
‘Osama’ Funding Appeals as U.S. Independent Filmmakers Hurt – Desperate times, right? Just so long as you don’t have any political aspirations. [Bloomberg]
Surprise! NJ Doesn’t Like High Taxes – “New Jersey holds the distinction of the state with both the highest property taxes per capita and the worst business tax climate in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.” [Tax Girl]
Fears of a New Bubble as Cash Pours In – “Behind the trend are measures such as cutting interest rates and pumping money into the financial system, which have left parts of the world awash in cash and at risk of bubbles, or run-ups in asset prices beyond what economic fundamentals suggest are reasonable.” [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.03.09

Thumbnail image for BuffettCarriesLunch.standard.jpgBerkshire Buys Burlington in Buffett’s Biggest Deal – WB likes BNSF for $100 a share and he’ll thrown in some free DQ just because he can. [Bloomberg]
Business Bankruptcy Filings Increased 7% in October – Over 130k total personal and commercial bankruptcies, up 20% from last year. [WSJ]
What To Watch For On Tuesday – It’s election day. [NPR]
Stanley, Black & Decker in Deal – “The transaction, which had been discussed three times before, according to the companies, represents a view that the housing market will bounce back from current lows, but also an acknowledgement that the do-it-yourself market and construction will not soon approach sky-high levels of a few years ago.” [WSJ]
RBS, Lloyds Diverge on U.K. Aid as They Unveil Plans – “The U.K. government said Tuesday it will put £31.2 billion ($51.2 billion) in new taxpayer money into the two banks as part of a revamp of the banking system and the long-awaited asset-protection program.” [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 11.02.09

PiggyBank_broken.jpgPandit ‘Near Death’ Cash Hoard Signals Lower U.S. Bank Profits – “The four largest U.S. banks by assets — Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co. — have increased their combined liquidity by 67 percent to $1.53 trillion as of Sept. 30 from $914.2 billion in June 2008, before Lehman’s collapse, according to the companies’ third-quarter reports.” [Bloomberg]
Sarbanes-Oxley 404(b): Auditors’ Reports on Internal Controls — A Shot in the Arm, or a Poke in the Behind? – “Veteran readers here know my deeply skeptical view that Sarbox was never more than a knee-jerk political feel-good exercise – going back to my July 20, 2002 column in the International Herald Tribune: ‘any legislation receiving the bipartisan margin of 97-0 is bound to be fundamentally defective.'” [Re: Balance]
Zombies Among Us: The Mainstream Media and Financial Journalism – Are the MSM gobbling the Big 4 PR? [Re: The Auditors]
CIT: A Different Kind of Bankruptcy? – If by different, you mean, “taxpayer money flushed down the toliet” then, no. [JDA]
Delaware Beats Switzerland as Most Secretive Financial Center – The IRS’ busting up the whole secret Swiss bank thing probably didn’t hurt the First State’s run at double-secret probation banking Mecca. [Reuters via NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.30.09

Thumbnail image for buffet-and-blankfein.jpgGoldman, CIT Reach Deal to Keep Smaller Credit Facility Open – Not as much as they wanted but we’re not talking about a company with a lot of options here. [Bloomberg]
White House: Data Likely to Credit Stimulus for 650,000 Jobs – In what appears to be the debunking of the Associated Press’ debunking of the WH data, the administration is claiming that the stimulus has nearly created the 1 million jobs the bill promised. [WSJ]
Wal-Mart starts selling coffins – The most modestly priced receptacle is $895. [BBC]
Galleon fears raised in 2001 – A JP Morgan analyst thought something was fishy with Raj and his “cohorts” and recommend that the bank’s alternative asset management unit should “reduce their allocation” to the fund. Apparently a trophy may have been at stake. [FT]
Stanford Receiver Hopes to Recoup $1.5 Billion – “Court-appointed receiver Ralph Janvey filed a report in federal court in Dallas late Wednesday outlining his plan to go after the $1.5 billion and provide allegedly defrauded Stanford investors a return of as much as 20 cents on the dollar.” [AP via NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.29.09

argument.jpgDoing deals between angry parties – ‘Shouting Is Good – or at Least Not Necessarily Bad’ [BBC]
Economy in U.S. Expands for First Time in More Than a Year – There is the unemployment thing… [Bloomberg]
Galleon paid banks millions for ‘edge’ – $250 mil just last year. [FT]
Accountant Sentenced to House Arrest in UBS Tax Case – Stephen Rubenstein is the first UBS scofflaw to be sentenced. [AP via NYT]
Ask the taxgirl: Donating an Engagement RingSomebody wants it. [Tax Girl]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.28.09

Thumbnail image for magic money.jpgGMAC Asks for Fresh Lifeline – Third round of bailout aid should be the charm. [WSJ]
Ex-Chief of AMD Is Linked to Galleon – So far, Hector Ruiz isn’t in any trouble but this certainly doesn’t look good. [WSJ]
World Series Games Add $15.5 Million Each to NYC, Agency Says – Much of which goes to Billy’s and Stan’s. [Bloomberg]
Pitchfork Watch: Couple Charged With Torturing Suspected Mortgage Fraudsters – Mortgage brokers, this is your warning. [Naked Capitalism]
Madoff victims lobby judge to deny Frank DiPascali Jr. bail – Surprise. [NYDN]
It may be BYOB as fewer firms plan holiday parties – Roll in with the High Life. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.26.09

Thumbnail image for carl-icahn.jpgCIT sweetens, extends debt exchange offer – “CIT raised the interest rate payable on its series B notes to 10.25 percent a year from 9 percent, and extended the closing date of the exchange offer to November 5 from October 29.” Carl Ichan isn’t so hot on the idea. [Reuters]
Florida Bank Becomes 100th to Fail This Year – Partners Bank is the lucky winner. [DealBook]
Investor With Madoff Is Found Dead in His Pool – Irving Picower had a history of “cardiac issues”. He had been accused of netting $7 billion in profit with BM. [NYT]
Capmark Financial files for bankruptcy – KKR is among the investors in the commercial real estate company who are SOL. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.23.09

Ben_Bernanke.jpgBernanke Calls for Action on Reform – Ben is kindly reminding everyone that maybe we should try to make some regulatory changes since, you know, the world almost ended. [WSJ]
The pyramid principle – Small banks are not doing so hot. [The Economist]
Critics: Executive Pay Cuts A Sop To Taxpayers – Campaigns are starting people, progress will have to wait. [NPR]
Man Pleads Guilty To DWI In Motorized La-Z-Boy – Doing anything with a BAC of 0.29 is probably illegal. [AP via NPR]
Bank claim that is out of this world – Dalton Chisholm has to present additional evidence today in order to give him a prayer at becoming the first ever billion-trillionaire. [BBC]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.22.09

Thumbnail image for DTa.jpgFormer car czar: GM, Chrysler were on brink of death – But no gc opinion? [DFP]
Galleon Sinks; Informant Surfaces – “Tipper A” has a name: Roomy Khan. [WSJ]
EU warns Oracle over Sun takeover – Oracle hasn’t really made a case that the takeover wouldn’t be anti-competitive. [BBC]
Microsoft launches Windows 7 – Microsoft’s obvious attempt to derail the career of John Hodgman. [Reuters]
Pay Czar Decides to Collect a Few Scalps, a Sign of Weakness – We’re looking for Basterds-like numbers Feinberg! [Naked Capitalsm]
Wall Street Steps Up Political Donations, Lobbying – “Most Wall Street firms stopped making donations to lawmakers when they were receiving government funds, and many lawmakers stopped accepting them. But now that the companies have begun returning the bailout funds, they are making campaign donations again.” [WSJ]
Further reading – Thanks to FT Alphaville for linking Francine McKenna’s post on KPMG’s Madoff exposure. [FT Alphaville]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.21.09

Thumbnail image for mr.met.jpgMets Win One: Owners Made Money on Madoff – “A partnership connected to the baseball team — which had widely been rumored to have lost money investing with Bernard Madoff — actually gained a net $48 million from its dealings with the convicted swindler, according to a bankruptcy-court filing.” [WSJ]
Madoff adjusts to life in prison – Bottom bunk. He would’ve called the top but when you’re in your 70s, sometimes you just let things go. [BBC]
CIT debt offer by obscure fund raises questions – Including: How desperate is CIT? [Reuters]
A Sarah Palin Tax Problem? – Auctioning off a dinner with Governor Maverick makes for some IRS hoop jumping. [TPM]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.20.09

Thumbnail image for pwclogo.thumbnail.jpgPwC: Sour Economy Sparks Divestitures – “Each of the Big Four accounting firms have scrutinized the corporate divestiture market over the last three quarters and have come up with largely the same conclusions.” Anyone surprised by this? [CFO]
Galleon Clients Abandon Ship – “Galleon’s chief operating officer, Rick Schutte, directed portfolio managers Monday to shed some positions in a “coordinated, orderly fashion,” according to a Galleon trader. The trader said he wasn’t told to sell everything but to begin raising some cash.” [WSJ]
NYC Judge Tosses Suit Against Biden’s Son, Brother – The non-Joe Bidens had been sued for $10 mil by an investor who says he was double-crossed on a purchase of a hedge fund firm. [AP via NYT]
Huron, others could get caught in Galleon Group problems – Raj held nearly 6% of Huron in mid-August according to the Trib. [CT]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.19.09

Raj.jpgU.S. Said to Target Wave of Insider-Trading Cases After Galleon – “Investigators developed at least one informant in the ring, who began meeting in November 2007 with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to charging documents.” Feel free to speculate who’s next. The SEC is taking no prisoners apparently. [Bloomberg]
Armageddon in Alabama Proves Parable for Local U.S. Governments – “One target of [citizens’] anger is Larry P. Langford, who was the county commission’s president in 2003 and 2004 and is now mayor of Birmingham. The 61-year-old Democrat goes on trial today, charged in a November 2008 federal indictment with taking cash, Rolex watches and designer clothes in exchange for helping to steer $7.1 million in fees to an Alabama investment banker as the county refinanced its sewer debt.” [Bloomberg]
Family Squabbles in Hyatt IPO – Family squabbles may “disrupt our business” according to the latest SEC filings. Nothing like family spite to disrupt the expansion of the fortune. [WSJ]
CME in informal talks to take over CBOE: report – “Informal talks” could really mean anything including that they had the chat over prime rib buffet and lap dances. [Reuters]
For N.B.A. Owners, Background Checks Go Deep – “The [NBA’s] investigation [of Mikhail D. Prokhorov] is expected to tap into Russian police, military, diplomatic and intelligence sources, some from the former K.G.B., as well as his partners, competitors and customers.” [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.16.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 140px-United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.pngSEC, CFTC Mull Joint Enforcement Squad: Sources – “U.S. securities and futures regulators are considering a joint enforcement squad to investigate and root out fraud in the markets, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.” All together now: FRAUD SQUAD. [Reuters via NYT]
Suspicions Arise After Balloon Boy Found Safe – We’re saturated by the coverage already. [NPR]
Obama wins first financial reform victory in months – Derivatives are no match for a debatable Nobel Peace Prize recipient. [Reuters]
Justice Agency Resists Music Merger – “The Ticketmaster-Live Nation deal is widely regarded as a bellwether of the department’s attitude toward such potential deals as Comcast Corp.’s proposal to take a majority stake in General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal. Like the proposed Ticketmaster-Live Nation alliance, a Comcast-NBC deal would represent ‘vertical integration,’ in which several links in the chain between producer and consumer are controlled by a single entity.” [WSJ]
On the Calendar: What Every Auditor Should Know About Litigation – Jim Peterson will be at Baruch College on Dec. 2 for Corporate Integrity’s 4th Annual Audit Conference, “Ensuring Integrity.” Check it out. [Re: The Balance]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.15.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for allen_stanford_1110321c.jpgStanford lawyer complains over level of care in prison – Apparently its not too good, as Stan is looking a little gaunt these days, sayeth the FT. [FT]
Elk Grove Village man accused of stealing millions from investors in Ponzi scheme – “Authorities said that between Jan. 1, 2007, and Oct. 9, 2008, Carney duped investors by creating the false impression that he had cutting-edge software designed for buying and selling securities. According to one investor, Carney claimed the program received market information three minutes before other traders.” [Chicago Tribune]
Limbaugh Dropped From Bid to Buy Rams – You know who’s to blame dontcha? [NYT]
An Apartment Complex Teeters – “The sprawling Manhattan apartment complex known as Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town — acquired for $5.4 billion in 2006 by a venture of Tishman Speyer Properties and a unit of BlackRock Inc. — is running out of cash. As of the end of September, it had $33.7 million left of the $400 million in interest reserves set up to service its debt, according to the people familiar with the matter. At its current burn rate of about $16 million per month, the reserve could be depleted before the end of the year, the people said.” [WSJ]
Goldman Shows Strength While Citi Limps Along – Moving on to… [DealBook]
Capital One credit card defaults rise in September – “Credit card defaults usually track unemployment, which rose to a 26-year high of 9.8 percent in September. The jobless rate is expected to peak at more than 10 percent by year-end.” [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.14.09

magic money.jpg• Thanks to everyone that has participated in our survey so far. If you haven’t yet, you can expect Chuck at your cubicle at some point today. Unless you do it now by going here.
Wall Street On Track To Award Record Pay – “Workers at 23 top investment banks, hedge funds, asset managers and stock and commodities exchanges can expect to earn even more than they did the peak year of 2007, according to an analysis of securities filings for the first half of 2009 and revenue estimates through year-end by The Wall Street Journal.” – Tooo long. [WSJ]
Geithner Aides Reaped Millions Working for Banks, Hedge Funds – This is nice. It’s been for too long since we had some good wholesome populist outrage. [Bloomberg]
Bernie Madoff Breaks His Prison Fight Cherry – Apparently someone said “Dow 3,000” and Bern just flipped. See also DB. [JDA]
Bloomberg Wins Bidding For BusinessWeek – For $5 mil. Estimates were that it was worth $1 bil back in 2000. Ouch. [BW]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.13.09

Business Fends Off Tax Hit – “Lurking behind the tax debate was the administration’s need for new sources of revenue to fund its increased spending. Jason Furman, a White House economic adviser, made that point clear at the end of a session with a dozen or so lobbyists in March. Catherine Schultz, head of tax policy at the National Foreign Trade Council, who was at the meeting, says Mr. Furman basically told the group: ‘We need the money.'” – So, that’s a bit of a problem. [WSJ]
CIT Says Chief Executive Peek to Resign, Effective Year End – The board knew something was up when Peek showed up to work yesterday with a Fu Manchu. [Bloomberg]
Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Creating Harvey Milk Day – Good job Arnie but state employees still have to work and will now receive OT. IOU’s should work. [NPR]
AIG to sell Taiwan insurance unit for $2.15 billion – “The sale of Nan Shan Life on Tuesday was another step in AIG’s effort to repay U.S. taxpayers after the government injected $80 billion into the company, but the insurer faces two more sales processes in Asia and others across the globe.” We lost count on what they’ve paid back but we’re guessing they owe somewhere in the nabe of a shitload. [Reuters]
So Much Auditor Litigation Makes For Strange BedfellowsUncle Dangle has some interesting problems re: Merrill Lynch and BoA that they would prefer just went away. [RTA]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.12.09

stanford1.jpgStanford wins ruling in battle over fraud case defence – Court ruled that Stan can use proceeds from a corporate insurance policy to pay for his defense. Can we get on with the circus trial now, please? [FT]
A Case Pitting Spin Against Fraud – “How far can Wall Street firms go to put a positive spin on bad news?” Used car salesmen should probably pay attention. [WSJ]
BofA urged to seek external chief executive – Big institutional investors want fresh blood and not the next KL. [FT]
Citi fined amid tax crackdown – $600k for derivatives that were partly designed to avoid taxes is supposedly going to scare other banks into compliance. [FT]
Iceland Shrinks 8% as Prices Increase 11% in Deepest Recession – “The stock market has lost 97 percent of its value, and more than 780 companies have buckled under the weight of foreign currency loans as the krona plunged.” So, that’s not good. [Bloomberg]
Improving your credit vs paying down debt – Americans can’t win. [Felix Salmon/Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.09.09

hummer-h2-accident001.jpgGM Expected to Seal Hummer Sale – $150 mil. Totally worth it. [WSJ]
Bernanke Ready to Tighten When Recovery Sufficient – Don’t rush the man, you impatient twerps. [Bloomberg]
FDIC questions Citi management review: report – ‘Cause, you know, they almost destroyed the WHOLE WORLD. [Reuters]
34 Banks Miss TARP Dividends and Almost No One Notices – AIG, CIT, and Bancorp are the top three slackers. Thanks guys. [Naked Capitalism]
In Surprise, Nobel Peace Prize to Obama for Diplomacy – Glenn Beck’s hysterical dismissal of the legitimacy of the award in 3…2…1… [NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.08.09

empticketmaster.jpgBritish Regulator Objects to Ticketmaster Merger – “Ticketmaster and Live Nation said that they would cooperate with the commission and that they remained committed to the merger. They argued that the deal would be in the public interest.” [NYT]
IBM Faces Justice Antitrust Inquiry – “The Armonk, N.Y., giant has long held a near-monopoly position in mainframes, which are large computers that can cost $1 million or more and are designed to run accounting software and databases. For decades, the company operated under terms of a 1956 consent decree with the government that required it to license mainframe technology to competitors.” [WSJ]
US deficit ‘hits record $1.4tn’ – Records are meant to broken. [BBC]
Promise of free money leads to scuffle between thousands in Detroit – “Several people reportedly passed out from exhaustion and had to be treated by emergency medical personnel.” [NYDN]
Accounting’s Patron SaintNot Arthur Andersen. [Energized Accounting]
A Windows to Help You Forget – Review of Windows Siete. Some of you can go geek out over this. [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.07.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iphone.jpgAT&T makes iPhone U-turn – “Bowing to pressure from regulators and consumers, AT&T on Tuesday said that it would allow inexpensive internet phone calls to be placed through its networks from Apple’s iPhones.” New Deloitte associates rejoice. [FT]
Support Builds for Tax Credit to Help Hiring – Seems like a good idea. [NYT]
Jr Deputy Accountant Needs Your Help. Srsly. – Kidney…Not really. [JDA]
SEC Says Frank’s Derivatives Plan May Leave ‘Regulatory Gaps’ – “Business reaction to Frank’s proposal suggests it lacks restrictions sought by critics who blame derivatives for speeding the downfall of American International Group Inc. and for exacerbating the credit crisis over the last 18 months.” [Bloomberg]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.06.09

bowling.jpgBurned Bondholders Demand Movie, Bowling Alley Claims for Junk – “Blockbuster Inc. sold $675 million of debt on Sept. 17, agreeing to pay a 15.2 percent yield and pledge movies and video games as collateral. Brunswick Corp. used its bowling alleys and headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois, to back a $350 million bond sale in August.” [Bloomberg]
United States calls for rigorous IMF surveillance – ‘Cause were sure as hell not able to do it, TImmay [Reuters]
PwC asks: When will banks learn? – Around the same time as accounting firms, probably. [Reuters]
Justices Turn Down Appeal From Qwest’s Nacchio – Does this mean that this story is over? [Reuters via NYT]
United Airlines to get $35.8 million in city incentives for Willis Tower moveDeloitte should have held out. [Chicago Tribune]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.05.09

Thumbnail image for george_soros.jpgSoros Says ‘Basically Bankrupt’ Banks Restrain U.S. – And consumers up to their eyeballs in debt doesn’t help either, according to Georgie. [Bloomberg]
BofA to Select Emergency CEO – “Led by Bank of America Chairman Walter Massey, the committee plans to submit its choice to the full board for approval. Regulators will be asked to sign off on the choice, according to the person familiar with the matter, and then the plan will be shelved until needed.” [WSJ]
Debt Plan Falls Short of Fixing CIT Lending – “CIT Group Inc.’s proposed debt-restructuring plan, even if successful, may do little to fix the company’s broken lending business…CIT’s ability to raise funds cheaply, a key requirement for any lender, remains limited by low credit ratings and restrictions imposed by a banking regulator.” [WSJ]
Telecom boss quits in suicide row – “France Telecom’s second-in-command has resigned, after weeks of criticism over management’s handling of a spate of suicides by employees…Unions blame restructuring at the firm for some of the 24 suicides by company employees in the last 20 months.” [BBC]
Auditing Standard 5: How Now, Brown Cow? – Homework, auditors. Read up. [RTA]

Preliminary Analytics | 10.02.09

dunkin.jpgDunkin’ Donuts president quits – After Thursday’s success, he must have wanted to go out on top. [BBC]
Strong dollar ‘very important’: Geithner – Not only that but we have to convince the world that we’re thrifty. Then we wouldn’t be Americans, would we? [Reuters]
Heads Should Have Rolled at Raters: Congresswoman – Pols using hindsight for grandstanding? [CFO]
CIT Discloses Its Restructuring Plan – “By simultaneously soliciting votes for a prepackaged bankruptcy alongside the debt exchange offers, the company is hoping to scare enough bondholders into supporting the out-of-court restructuring effort.” Run away. [DealBook]
• Don’t forget to vote in the poll for our Caption Contest. It closes at 3 pm EDT.

Preliminary Analytics | 10.01.09

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for KenLewisNOPEb.jpgBank of America Chief Resigns Under Fire – “One sign to company insiders that something was up: Mr. Lewis returned to work after Labor Day in a full beard, which no one at the bank had ever seen before. He shaved it off after one day.” We’re picturing something along the lines of ZZ Top. [WSJ]
Cowboys Under 60-Yard-Long HDTV Signaling Player-Pay Showdown – “The stadium epitomizes the NFL’s costly building spree during the past 15 years. Many owners used cheap credit to build and renovate 24 of the league’s 31 venues, more than quadrupling debt held by teams and the league to about $9 billion this year from 1996.” On a side note, guess where the NFL CFO used to work? [Bloomberg]
Crocs laces up $30M in credit – Unfortunately, Crocs seems to have survived its near death experience. [Denver Business Journal]
Comcast-GE Talks Heighten Intrigue Over Fate of NBCU – Your cable company part owner of Conan, The Office? That feels icky. [WSJ]
47% Will Pay $0 Income Tax in 2009 – Probably none of you. [TaxProf Blog]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.29.09

Thumbnail image for allen_stanford_1110321c.jpgStanford moved to federal lockup in Houston – To help with this complicated case, say his attorneys. Lotta ins, lotta outs. [Reuters]
Starbucks debuts Via instant coffee in U.S., Canada – So much for coffee purists. [Reuters]
Rhetorical Tax Evasion – In case you were considering opting out of health care coverage under the new, not even close to being made law, plan. It could cost you 25 large. [WSJ]
FDIC to propose banks prepay 3 years of fees: source – That should cover them. [Reuters]
Too Small to Bail Has a Nice Ring to It – Sure. [Breaking Views via NYT]
Restaurants Dangle Cheaper Drinks but Risk Watering Down Their Profits – The catch is, you’re hanging out at…Chili’s. [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.28.09

Thumbnail image for irs.jpgU.S. Increases Cases Against Tax Evaders – Every couple of weeks, the Service is expecting to make new scofflaws public. They describe it as a ‘great success for the government’ which is an odd combination of words. [Reuters via NYT]
Phone Calls Add to Din Over Loans – “Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is trying to subpoena the remaining records of Countrywide’s VIP loan program. So far, the committee’s chairman, New York Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns, has turned down that request.” And some of the tapes have been destroyed anyway. So that could turn out to be a hell of a problem. [WSJ]
Harkin: ‘Public Option’ Will Be In Final Health Bill – Maybe. Hark also thinks it’ll be done by Christmas. There’s that whole tricky navigation of politics to deal with though. [NPR]
Xerox to Buy Affiliated Computer for $6.4 Billion – “The acquisition is Chief Executive Officer Ursula Burns’s first since taking over the world’s largest maker of high-speed color printers in July. The transaction helps her expand into a market the company values at about $150 billion and gives her a foothold in managing administrative operations for multiple arms of the U.S. government.” Handling anything for the feds gets you closer to the money printing machine, so that’s not a bad thing. [Bloomberg]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.25.09

Thumbnail image for 140px-United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.pngAccused Perot Staffer Led ’79 Hostage Rescue – The SEC will be dropping the charges due to losing all the evidence… Not really but give it time. [WSJ]
Goldman to benefit from new OTC derivatives rules: Citi – Surprised? [Reuters]
IRS Tells Auditors to Look at Loans by Offshore Funds – The IRS continues its role as party-pooper. [Bloomberg]
PCAOB Issues Report On First Year Implementation of AS5 – There’s room for improvement auditors. Sounds like your personal performance reviews. [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.24.09

BuffettCarriesLunch.standard.jpgOmaha’s Oracle of Style Sings the Praises of a Chinese Suit – And probably will take the opportunity to spread the folksy seed around. [WSJ]
Employee of Perot Affiliate Charged With Insider Trades on Takeover Talks – “[Reza] Saleh began buying call options, which give the holder the right to buy stock at a specific future time and price, between Sept. 4 and Sept. 18, according to the SEC complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas. Around that time, several Perot executives and board members, including Mr. Perot, became aware of the takeover negotiations, the SEC alleged.” [WSJ]
Acorn Sues Over Video as I.R.S. Severs Ties – And the Fox News grave dancing begins…[NYT]
CFOs plan to invest in technologyWhen the economy recovers, sayeth Bob Half. [Washington Business Journal via DBJ]
Microsoft says no plans to buy Electronic Arts Yet. [Reuters]
The beginning of the end of meaningful regulatory reform – Banks 1 gazillion, Congress 0 [Felix Salmon/Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.23.09

ey_bandaids.jpgErnst & Young settles Akai case – No deets disclosed. [FT]
Chase and Bank of America Revise Fee Policies – Under duress of course. [NYT]
Moody’s accused of issuing inflated ratings: report – Ratings were bupkis, why wouldn’t their numbers be? [Reuters]
J&J CFO: Biggest Nightmare Is Public Health Option – It’s not a nightmare for everyone. [CFO]
Former eBay Chief Running for Governor of California – Good luck. Seriously, you’ll need it. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.22.09

Thumbnail image for accountant.jpgFor Rent: Chief Financial Officer – “B2B CFO Partners LLC, a Phoenix, Ariz., firm that has over 100 CFOs-for-rent, charges at least $300 to $400 per month for the service.” And essentially function as super heros/therapists. [WSJ]
Bank of America to Pay for Merrill Backstop, Faces SEC Trial – We’re pretty excited to see how the SEC manages to screw the pooch on this one. [Bloomberg]
What the SEC Might Look Like If It Did Its Job: Susan Antilla – McNulty? [Bloomberg]
F.D.I.C. May Borrow Funds From Banks – Is the magic money printing machine over at the Fed broken? [NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.21.09

money.jpgFirms Back Plan to Change Pay Policies – Because if they don’t, the Feds will get involved which bigwig types aren’t really down for. The Fed is still looking to regulate bankers’ pay which is an idea that will likely remain popular forever. [WSJ]
Dell to Acquire Perot Systems for $3.9 Billion [Bloomberg]
U.S. as Traffic Cop in Web Fight – No discrimination if you’re watching ACORN undercover shenanigans or free porn. [WSJ]
Holiday spending seen flat – Sayeth Deloitte’s retail group. Try to remember the kids at least. [Reuters]
Can Mergers Stay Sane? – Companies with lots of cash will start getting bored and could start throwing money around. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.18.09

danny pang.jpgFinancier Pang Allegedly Had Drugs in His System at Death – “Newport Beach police believe the most likely explanation is that Mr. Pang, 42 years old, committed suicide, according to people close to the matter, but they are awaiting the coroner’s report for a definitive conclusion.” [WSJ]
Investors, It Pays to Mind the GAAP Gaps – “Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index earned an estimated $13.81 a share in the quarter on an operating basis, compared with $13.51 in GAAP earnings. That is the closest those two earnings measures have been since the first quarter of 2000.” [WSJ]
Fed to screen U.S. bank pay policies: report – Basically, bankers would have to get approval from Dad before getting their allowance. [Reuters]
UBS Tax Net Snares Clients of Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, LGT – Eventually, just for simplicity and fairness, everyone will have to tell everyone else where they bank. [Bloomberg]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.17.09

graduation.jpgClearing skies over U.S. economy open rift at Fed – Let’s just leave everything alone, it’ll be fine. [Reuters]
Twitter funding would value it at $1 billion: report – It’s not going anywhere, follow us. [Reuters]
U.S. unemployment not to peak until 2011: Krugman – “He said the global economy seems to be stabilizing at a level that is ‘unacceptably poor’ and added it is possible that the recession will be a double-dip one.” [Reuters]
He Built America’s First Megamall – Now that he’s gone, we can’t really place blame here for rampant consumerism, can we? [WSJ]
SEC Announces New Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation – The latest duct tape measure from the SEC. [SEC.gov]
Rolls-Royce Unveils Its Economy Car – Less than $250k. If you had only gotten that bonus… [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.16.09

the-end.jpgBankers Should Repent, Archbishop of Canturbury Says – And since the bankers and others are blaming the accountants, you all should get with the penance as well [AP via NYT]
Buffett Says the U.S. Economy Has ‘Hit a Plateau at Bottom’ – This bodes well the Beard’s calling of the match yesterday. [Bloomberg]
Pimco’s Gross Boosts Government Debt to 5-Year High – Take note, USD haters. [Bloomberg]
James S. McDonald, C.E.O. of Rockefeller & Co., Dies at 56 – Illuminati theories can commence now. [NYT]
Facebook Says Its Finances Are Looking Up – 300 million members and free cash flow positive, so you must be on there providing witless comments about how you hate our jobs. Join the GC group. [Bits]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.15.09

200px-Citigroup.pngCitigroup Explores Bid to Pare U.S. Stake – “Citigroup officials said they planned to raise outside capital in order to repay the outstanding bailout funds. Treasury officials responded to Citi that they didn’t object to the company paying back Washington as long as Citi first raised offsetting capital” In other words, everyone calm down. It’s more like Citi actually got the stones to call up the Treasury. At this point, Treasury is still a little grossed out. [WSJ]
Bank of America Ruling Leaves SEC With Few Options for Pursuit – Judge Rakoff: ‘the proposed consent judgment was a contrivance designed to provide the SEC with the façade of enforcement and the management of the bank with a quick resolution of an embarrassing inquiry.’ So much for winning anybody’s respect Schapester. [Bloomberg]
A Tough Crowd on Wall Street – Shockingly, very few lined up to congratulate the President on the speech, which probably caught him off guard a little bit. [NYT]
How accounting changes can create a world of investment banks – So, accountants will be blamed for the next crisis too? Awesome. [FT Alphaville]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.14.09

cadbury_egg.jpgCadbury attacks Kraft’s strategy – “Cadbury has ratcheted up its defence against a proposed takeover by Kraft, the US foodmaker, by releasing a letter describing the US group as a ‘low-growth conglomerate.’ [FT]
Police Eye Mysterious Death of Financier – Ponzi schemes. Murdered ex-wives. Seems like Danny Pang’s death puts a nice bow on this whole thing. [WSJ]
Serbia ‘cuts jobs for IMF loan’ – Weren’t there loan sharks in Serbia that would have given the government a better deal? [BBC]
BlackRock to launch trading platform – BlackRock, um may be reaching TBTF territory. [FT]
PwC’s “Bundler” Outlives His Usefulness – P. Dubs shifting with the political winds? [RTA]
A Clear Message to Fake Non-profits: If You’re Going to Have Drunken Sex Parties, at Least File with the IRS – Seems like good advice. [JDA]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.11.09

sexy accountant.jpgAccountants Misled Us Into Crisis – Yes. You. [Floyd Norris/NYT]
Prosecutors Are Poised to Impanel AIG Grand Jury – “In the AIG matter, the swaps at issue led to billions of dollars in write-downs for the insurer after PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, its auditor, said the process AIG used to value them was flawed. Pricewaterhouse could be called to testify about, among other things, the way in which it came to determine there was a material weakness in the internal controls used by Mr. Cassano’s group to value the swaps, the people familiar with the matter said.” [WSJ]
Bloomberg Among Potential Bidders for McGraw-Hill’s BusinessWeek – Whether the Big 4 remains on the Launch list remains to be seen. [WSJ]
New Charges in Stanford Case – “Mr. Perraud arranged for a shredding company to come to the office and supervised the shredding of a 95-gallon bin full of documents, the indictment said.” This guy thought he knew how to destroy documentation. Fool. Leave that to us. [Reuters via NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.10.09

oprah-kfc-factory-farms.jpgThe Oprah effect: Winfrey credited with helping boost Michigan Avenue business Tuesday – Oprah encourages us back to irresponsible behavior. Wa-hoo! [CT]
Madoff Slept Here May Prove Selling Point for NY, Florida Homes – ‘People will be underwhelmed when they see the Palm Beach house — the location is great but the house is so dated it will probably be knocked down.’ That’s a shame. [Bloomberg]
Brooklyn’s Madoff, Ponzi-schemer Philip Barry, getting public assistance – No surprise here since he was running a business from the stone age. [NYDN]
Steve Jobs lights up Apple show – In other news, Apple fanboys, he’ll be dead eventually. [BBC]
Phone transcript reveals Bernie Madoff coached potential witness on duping SEC investigators – “Bernie Madoff once coached a potential witness on how to fool SEC investigators, saying ‘you don’t have to be too brilliant’ to get away with it, it was revealed Wednesday.” So Bern was at least providing training, unlike some people we know…[NYDN]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.09.09

cadbury_egg.jpgWar of Words Heats Up Over Cadbury – “Kraft Foods Inc. ratcheted up the rhetoric in its takeover battle for Cadbury PLC Tuesday, with the U.S. food giant dismissing criticism that the $16.8 billion offer is too low, as the two sides dug in for what is likely to be a months-long merger saga.” This will be the new story that involves confectionary in the coming months.
Madoff’s Belgian Shoes Stashed as U.S. Markets Home – Shoes only get mentioned once but dog feces being thrown at the marshals gets mentioned at least twice. A title change may be in order. [Bloomberg]
Goldman chief hits at ‘useless’ banking – Stemming the tide LB? [FT]
July consumer credit falls a record $21.6 billion – “July consumer credit outstanding fell at a 10.4 percent annual rate to $2.47 trillion”. In other words, people are either wising up or we not interested in helping participating in the economic recovery. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.08.09

Great Depression Unemployment Line.jpgStudy: 2 out of 5 working-age Californians jobless – That sorta seems not good. [AP via SF Chronicle]
Volunteer 5-0: Civilian Patrols Grow As Recession Puts Citizens on Guard – “After parking her truck in this beachside town in July, local resident Pamela Miller says she was confronted by a man wearing a neon-lemon “Parking Enforcement” T-shirt. He accused her of parking illegally, called her “retarded,” and, after she refused to move her truck, bumped her legs with his Ford Crown Victoria, she later told town officials.” [WSJ]
Closely Watched Buffett Recalculating His Bets – Not that you’re going to do anything about it. [NYT]
Deadline for $24m Leibovitz loan – Due today. If this somehow gets pulled off, can any of you help this woman? [BBC]
Cadbury vows to fight Kraft offer – Because chocolate eggs and manufactured cheese don’t belong together. [FT]
France to oppose Google book scheme – Your back-up career plan to scan the likes of Atlas Shrugged and the Harry Potter series may be put on hold. [FT]
Swiss topple U.S. as most competitive economy: WEF – Obviously not taking the whole ‘End of Swiss Banking as we know it’ very well. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.04.09

r.jpgStanford’s Money-Losers, Unlike Madoff’s, Get No Help From SIPC – Sucks. [Bloomberg]
Ex-SEC Lawyer: Madoff Report Misses Point – “Genevievette Walker-Lightfoot told Dow Jones Newswires on Thursday the SEC inspector general should have focused more of his attention on how supervisors, rather than the staff examiners and investigators, handled the agency’s many stillborn probes of Mr. Madoff.” Supervisors? Responsibility? Get out. [WSJ]
Zimbabwe to get $500m IMF loans – Seems silly that these are called loans. [BBC]
U.S. Job Losses Increased in August, Unemployment Rose to 9.7% – And the spin is that this good news. [Bloomberg]
Congress to probe SEC’s lapse on Madoff – Because this is a perfect opportunity for members of Congress to talk about how smart they are and how stupid the SEC is. We haven’t had enough of these anyway. [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.03.09

tim-geithner.jpgTreasury Retreats From Standoff With TARP Watchdog – “Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a position also known as Sigtarp, declared victory Wednesday in his effort to clarify that he doesn’t answer to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.” [WSJ]
Oracle Faces In-Depth EU Probe Over Sun Purchase – Larry Ellison will not stand this aggression. [Bloomberg]
Will AIG Rein In Its Brash CEO? – “Mr. Benmosche said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo ‘doesn’t deserve to be in government’ and that Mr. Benmosche would leave dealing with ‘all those crazies down in Washington’ to the company’s chairman, according to an account by Bloomberg News that was confirmed by Mr. Benmosche.” For the sake of the rest of us, let the man say his piece. [WSJ]
Stanford Has Surgery; Receiver Defends $27 Million Fee – “Jailed fraud defendant R. Allen Stanford had surgery for an aneurysm in his leg Wednesday morning and was back in a Conroe-area prison before noon.” Recovery time for a stud such as Stan is not nearly as long for you mortals. Meanwhile, the receiver in the case is telling the SEC to BTFO. [Houston Chronicle]
Stanford’s Bellagio debt, redux – Stan’s attorney suggests that if the Bellagio wants its money it should go after the aforementioned receiver, Ralph Janvey. Old school style of course, ‘Maybe the Bellagio should revert to the time-honored method of Vegas debt collection and send someone to make the receiver an offer he can’t refuse, or just break his legs,’ or may we suggest a hammer? [FT Alphaville]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.02.09

23otb.jpgOTB Is in Financial Trouble, but It’s Ready to Roll – Sometimes, time-honored traditions such as OTB are allowed certain concessions. [NYT]
Madoff Details, and Property, on Tap – “[Inspector General David] Kotz turned over the report to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro late Monday, and it is likely to be released within a week after the SEC’s five commissioners review it.” Probably no details on girth, etc. [WSJ]
Disney Deal Could Spark Imaginitive M&A Ideas “When merger momentum really gets going, companies splash out for takeovers that make little sense to anyone except the investment bankers involved.” [DealBook]
Stanford Back in Jail After Medical Tests – An aneurysm can’t keep Stan out of jail. DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 09.01.09

KenLewisNOPEb.jpg
BofA Seeks to Repay a Portion of Bailout – “Repaying this would mean BofA would no longer be considered an ‘exceptional’ aid recipient — a designation that has put it under a microscope by Congress and regulators, with its pay packages subject to review by the federal ‘pay czar'”. Ken Lewis isn’t going to take it anymore. [WSJ]
Madoff Liquidator May ‘Claw Back’ Charities’ Fake Profits – ‘Picard has an obligation to the bankruptcy estate to collect all the assets he can find and in theory he has to treat everyone the same way.’ Most thankless job ever. [Bloomberg]
Warning Signs: I Started Looking And The Bubble Burst… – Deloitte. Start listening. [RTA]
Icahn Pares Yahoo Stake With Sale of 12.7M Shares – Deal is done. Might as well work on GTFO. [NYT]
Corporate failures forecast to rise – “Insolvency specialists are forecasting a second wave of corporate restructurings to break in September as bankers and investors face problem investments.” [FT]
IRS to Mine Payment Data on Mortgages – “The Treasury inspector general said in a Monday report that tens of thousands of homeowners who paid more than $20,000 in mortgage interest in 2005 either didn’t file a tax return or reported income that appears insufficient to cover their mortgage interest and basic living expenses.” GASP. Someone living beyond their means? [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 08.31.09

barneyfrank4.jpgFrank Said to Back Broader Fed Audits – “In an interview Friday, Mr. Paul said Mr. Frank agreed to allow a vote on the bill and to work on language that would allow the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to audit the Fed’s monetary-policy operations.” [WSJ]
Fed makes $14bn profit on crisis loans – In case anyone needed another reason to audit the Fed. [FT]
Big Firms Are Quick to Collect, Slow to Pay – “As credit markets remain tight and banks rein in lending, corporations are being forced to squeeze more cash from their day-to-day operations at a time when revenues are slowing and the economy remains weak. ” [WSJ]
The Savings Rate Has Recovered…if You Ignore the Bottom 99% – Dubious government stats? The horror. [Naked Capitalism]
Raft of Deals for Failed Banks Puts U.S. on Hook for Billions – “The agency’s total exposure is about six times the amount remaining in its fund that guarantees consumers’ deposits, exposing taxpayers to a big, new risk.” She Bair, rebuttal? [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 08.28.09

ticket-scalper.jpgBig Ticket Seller Tried Deal With Scalpers – Ticketmaster has obviously never tried to get Phish tickets on the day of the show after dropping boomies. You can’t reason with that scum. [WSJ]
Frank: No Consensus In Sight On Financial Reform – As opposed to thoughts on Maxine Waters’s lunacy, which we all happily agree on. [NPR]
SEC’s Schapiro Calls Derivatives Data ‘Critical’ for Probes – And by critical, Schape means, “If you don’t give me the data, I will end you.” [Bloomberg]
Treasury Document Called AIG Investment ‘Highly Speculative’ – No honesty in government? Bah. [Bloomberg]
‘Blood Oath’ Sealed Stanford Deal, Court Is Told – What the Times isn’t saying is that the whole thing went down in a treehouse and they kept emergency antiseptic and bandages nearby just in case things got out of control. [NYT]

Preliminary Analytics | 08.27.09

r.jpgStanford’s Private-Equity Stakes to Be Sold Over His Objection – “Court-appointed receiver Ralph Janvey won approval to sell several pieces of Stanford’s private-equity portfolio on an emergency basis to avoid meeting capital calls or diluting the investments, according to an order posted yesterday by U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas.” You don’t need investments in hell anyway. [Bloomberg]
Volunteering Waning in Recession, Report Says – Cutting out the volunteer time to spend time feeling sorry for yourselves. Classy. [NYT]
Blackstone Gem – Hedge fund of funds rockstar, Steve Schwartzman. His picture accompanies the article anyway. [NYP]
Microsoft Cuts Price of Xbox 360 – Most of you gamer geeks probably need a back up system or something. [WSJ]

Preliminary Analytics | 08.26.09

dimon_250x375.jpgHow much money did JPMorgan make on Madoff? – According to one brainy prof, probably less than $500 mil. That doesn’t mean they did anything wrong though: ‘Few would say that the vendor who sold Mr. Madoff a hotdog on the street was doing anything wrong.’ Yeah, ’cause it’s the same thing. [FT Alphaville]
Edward Kennedy, Senator and Democratic Icon, Dies [Bloomberg]
Fight Brews as Proxy-Access Nears – “The largest U.S. businesses, law firms and business groups have stepped up their challenge to the ‘proxy access’ rule, which would let certain shareholders use a company’s board-election process to nominate directors opposed to management.” [WSJ]
Colonial BancGroup files Chapter 11 – Shoe. Dropped. [Reuters]
U.S. Postal Service seeks 30,000 job cuts via buyouts – As of now, no reports of gunfire at any post office locations. [Reuters]
Swiss Bank to Leave U.S. Amid Tighter Restrictions – No, not UBS. Wagelin & Co., who’s obviously fed up with the newfound inability to dodge taxes. [DealBook]

Preliminary Analytics | 08.25.09

graduation.jpgObama to Reappoint Bernanke as Fed Chief – “Mr. Bernanke is seen by supporters inside the administration and in markets as a creative and steady hand who helped to keep the financial chaos, which became especially dangerous in the past year, from becoming much worse.” Now that the next four years are in the bag, the beard is getting grown out. [WSJ]
Volcker: Money funds weaken financial system – Sounds like someone wants headlines on someone else’s big day. [Reuters]
Appeals Court Says Stanford Must Remain in Jail – Let’s get this circus of a trial started already. [DealBook]
GameStop says CFO will retire in March – Presumably to work on his GTA game [Reuters]

Preliminary Analytics | 08.24.09

hummer-h2-accident001.jpgGM Said to Be Close to Agreement on Sale of Hummer to Chinese – Because that’s EXACTLY what China needs. [Bloomberg]
IMF set to decide on Serbia loan – “The 800m euros instalment is dependent on the government making reforms to comply with IMF conditions set out when the original loan was agreed.” Oh, Serbia. Take that money and you’re doomed. [BBC]
Humour is an act of aggression, claims German academic – This guy obviously saw Inglorious Basterds over the weekend. [Telegraph]
Common Sense 2009 – Larry Flynt says we all strike. It’s not the worst idea we’ve ever heard. [Huffington Post]
Senator Seeks Broad SEC Market Study – “In a zero-based regulatory review, each part of the current market structure would be reviewed comprehensively, as opposed to a traditional review of one particular type of market structure.” Which is what Senator Kaufman is requesting. Sure. Why not? [WSJ]