September 21, 2019

Scoping

7 (Mostly Terrible) Predictions for the Accounting Profession in 2019

Hi. Me again. It’s been awhile since we’ve met here. I can’t make any promises, but I hope to pop in now and again in 2019. Plus, Adrienne asked me nicely and she never asks for anything nicely, so here we are. Speaking of that request, it went more or less like this: AG: Would […]

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1. Vault 502. Reading the IRC3. CPA Practice Advisor Most Powerful Women in Accounting4. LinkedIn school rankings5. CPA Practice Advisor 40 Under 406. U.S. News and World Report school rankings7. Accounting Today 100 Most Influentialtie – 8. Accounting Today Top 100 Firmstie – 8. Inside Public Accounting Top 100 Firms

Scoping | 07.31.09

BuffettCarriesLunch.standard.jpgBuffett Posts $1 Billion Profit on China Hybrid Carmaker BYD – “The automaker has jumped fivefold in Hong Kong trading since the deal was announced on Sept. 27, helped by Buffett’s investment and rising demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.” – YAWN. [Bloomberg]
‘Cash For Clunkers’ Lacks Cash For Clunkers [NPR]
U.S. Recession Worse Than Previously Estimated, Revisions Show – “The first 12 months of the U.S. recession saw the economy shrink more than twice as much as previously estimated, reflecting even bigger declines in consumer spending and housing, revised figures showed.” Government data estimates not even close? THE HORROR. [Bloomberg]
Regulators Are Getting Tougher on Banks -“Federal regulators have escalated the number of wounded banks they have essentially put on probation, with some of the targeted banks complaining that the action is too harsh.” [WSJ]

Scoping | 07.30.09

michaelmoore.jpgMoore’s ‘Capitalism: a Love Story’ to Debut in Venice – We thought it might debut at 85 Broad but whatevs. [Bloomberg]
In downturn, robots laid off – Statistics also show that robot suicides and chemical dependency is up. [Miami Herald]
Madoff gives feeder fund managers’ names to lawyer – Something about spending 150 years in prison makes a man want to talk. [Reuters]
Cablevision to spin off Madison Square assets: report – In other news, Penn Station will remain a toilet. [Reuters]
Air Canada Gets Bailout From Ottawa – “Air Canada has secured a 1 billion Canadian dollar ($922 million) lifeline with help from the federal government, giving the carrier a crucial infusion of cash to help it survive the recession and avoid another trip through bankruptcy protection, The Globe and Mail reported.” It’s the North American way. [DealBook]

Scoping | 07.29.09

bernie_madoff2.jpgBernie Madoff gloats from prison: I can’t believe I got away with Ponzi scheme for so long – That explains the smirking. [NYDN]
Microsoft and Yahoo Reach Deal on Search Partnership – Thank God. We thought we’d never see the end of this awkward flirting [New York Times]
EU examines Latvia bank bail-out – They’re likely to discover some questionable collateral at the very least. [BBC]
Bank of America May Trim Branches as Customers Use Web, Phones – Personal banking on the web. What a concept. Real reactionary, Charlotte. [Bloomberg]
KKR Plans a Dollar General IPO – Cheap stuff + Bad Economy = Big Money [WSJ]

Scoping | 07.28.09

2007_Cinco-Maxine_Waters.jpgHouse Members Have More Questions for Goldman – “In a two-page letter Monday, the House members, including Representatives Alan Grayson, (D-Fla.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Walter B. Jones (R-NC), asked the Federal Reserve to explain why it granted a special exemption to Goldman which allowed it to take on more risk over the past few quarters.” Get on it Max. [DealBook]
Swine flu boosts handwash sales – …And shrinks specializing in germaphobes [BBC]
Sprint to Buy Virgin Mobile USA; I.B.M. to Buy SSPS [DealBook]
Kerviel Lawyer Says SocGen Knew of Trading Positions – “Jerome Kerviel, the trader blamed by Societe Generale SA for a 4.9 billion-euro ($7 billion) loss last year, repeated arguments in a court filing that his superiors knew about his activities.” [Bloomberg]
Traders Blamed for Oil Spike – “The Commodity Futures Trading Commission plans to issue a report next month suggesting speculators played a significant role in driving wild swings in oil prices — a reversal of an earlier CFTC position that augurs intensifying scrutiny on investors.” [WSJ]

Scoping | 07.27.09

ben_old.jpgBernanke defends bail-out package – “Ben Bernanke, the boss of the US central bank, has defended the US bail-out plan citing his fears of a second Great Depression, during a public talk.” [BBC]
Citi public exchange offer gets 99 percent shares – “Citigroup Inc said on Sunday some 99 percent of its stock was tendered in an exchange offer for publicly held securities, in a key step toward giving the U.S. government a 34 percent equity stake in the bank.” [Reuters]
Kuwait financier facing U.S. fraud suit found dead – “A brash Kuwaiti financier facing a fraud suit by U.S. authorities was found dead Sunday in an apparent suicide that sent shockwaves through the Gulf Arab financial sector.” [Reuters]
Chinese state steel workers beat private firm boss to death -“Thousands of angry Chinese steel workers clashed with police and beat to death an executive of the firm trying to take over their company, a Hong Kong-based human rights organisation has said.” [The Guardian]

Scoping | 07.24.09

BuffettCarriesLunch.standard.jpgWarren Buffett to Teach Kids About Finance in New Web Cartoon [Bloomberg]
U.K. GDP Shrinks More Than Expected – “Hopes that the U.K. economy was on the road to recovery after a severe recession received a major blow Friday with official data showing output contracted far more than expected in the second quarter.” [WSJ]
After Buffett Rebuff, CIT Eyes a Breakup – “Conglomerates Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Leucadia National Corp. made a bid to buy parts of CIT Group Inc. but were rebuffed by CIT, according to people familiar with the matter, because the price was too low.” [WSJ]
The Man Who Sank New Jersey [Forbes]

Scoping | 07.23.09

Shakeshack_hamburgers.jpgObama Approval 49% Among U.S. Investors, 87% Overseas – “President Barack Obama has rock- star appeal among the investing class — except in his own country.” [Bloomberg]
Investment Bank Helps Boost Credit Suisse’s Net Income – Reigning in on the company wide Shake Shack outings is probably helpful too. [WSJ]
One-time gain boosts Ford results – Don’t call it a comeback [BBC]
Manure means money to handlers gathered in Iowa – Sometimes there’s money in shit [AP via Miami Herald]
Bardem Turns Down Role in ‘Wall Street’ Sequel – “The actor Javier Bardem has turned down a role in the sequel to Oliver Stone’s seminal 1980s treatise on greed, “Wall Street.” Mr. Bardem, who won an Oscar in 2008 for his performance in “No Country for Old Men,” was to have played the world’s villain du jour: a hedge fund manager.” [DealBook]

Scoping | 07.22.09

BlackRock chief attacks Wall Street earningsSomebody’s jealous. [FT.com]
Credit Card Disputes Tossed Into Disarray – “Two major arbitration firms are backing away from the business of resolving disputes between customers and their credit-card and cellphone companies, throwing into disarray a controversial system that prevents unhappy consumers from filing lawsuits.” [WSJ]
Federal reserve chief heads back to Capitol Hill– “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke heads back to Capitol Hill Wednesday, where he’s likely to face more tough questions about the central bank’s extraordinary actions to rescue the economy and its ability to take on even more responsibility.” [AP via Miami Herald]
Morgan Stanley Loss Misses Estimates on Debt Costs – Creative accounting can’t help MS…[Bloomberg]
Wells Fargo Says Bad Loans Rise in Second Quarter; Shares Drop – …Or Wells [Bloomberg]

Scoping | 07.21.09

First, some shameless promotion:
Breaking Media Launches Going Concern [Media Bistro]
New Finance Blog Aims To ‘Make Accounting Sexy’ [Media Post]
Site launched to follow accounting industry [Talking Biz News]
And the rest:
California Budget Deal Reached By Legislators, Schwarzenegger – “The deal, reached by legislative leaders after two months of frequently acrimonious negotiations, would slash spending for schools, public works and welfare programs amid the longest recession since the 1930s. If approved by the full Senate and Assembly, the agreement will also siphon money from municipalities, force companies and individuals to pay income taxes sooner and make it more difficult to receive state aid.” [Bloomberg]
Swiss Banks Freeze Out U.S. Clients – “In a sign that UBS AG’s high-profile spat with the Internal Revenue Service is chipping away at Switzerland’s private banking industry, some Swiss banks are cutting off or curbing business with American clients for fear of crossing U.S. authorities.” [WSJ]
‘Spy scandal’ hits Deutsche Bank – “Deutsche Bank has confirmed it faces a possible criminal investigation into spying allegations.” [BBC]

Scoping | 07.20.09

CIT Is Said to Obtain Urgent Loan to Prevent Bankruptcy – “Directors of the CIT Group, one of the nation’s leading lenders to small and midsize businesses, approved a deal Sunday evening with some of the bank’s major bondholders to help it avert a bankruptcy filing through a $3 billion emergency loan, according to people briefed on the matter.” Bullet dodged. [New York Times]
Scam victims ‘easily persuaded’ – “The scams the OFT has been highlighting range from the so-called Nigerian or advance free frauds, to bogus lotteries, fake clairvoyants and health cures, bogus investments and crooked racing tipsters.” Nigerian emails do have a certain charming prose that is difficult to resist. [BBC]
Sweden’s SEB bank posts 2Q loss – No doubt had some exposure to the Latvian souls brokers [AP via Miami Herald]
Charles Schwab denies Cuomo’s fraud allegations – “Charles Schwab Corp, the largest U.S. online brokerage, denied allegations by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of civil fraud in its marketing and sale of Auction Rate Securities (ARS).” Also, some less serious charges include running commercials with creepy half-human, half-cartoons moving and talking seriously about their depleted 401(k)s. [Reuters]
Evidence shows there’s no such thing as ‘recession-proof’ jobs – Bankruptcy lawyers might be the lone exception. Good luck getting into that. [Chicago Tribune]

Scoping | 07.17.09

paulson2.jpgWhat’s email? – Paulson doesn’t use it, thanks for asking. Next question. [FT Alphaville]
Bank of America Posts a Profit on Trading Gains – “Bank of America, one of the nation’s largest and most troubled banks, announced on Friday a $3.2 billion second-quarter profit, a figure that exceeded analyst expectations.” Ken Lewis will be starting happy hour a little earlier than usual on this Friday. Circa now. [New York Times]
Citigroup profit soars on Smith Barney sale – “Citi’s profit was not driven by improved trading like other banks, and instead came from the gain on the sale of its Smith Barney unit and the increasing values of some of its riskier assets that had plunged during the credit crisis. The New York-based bank recorded an after-tax gain of $6.7 billion on the sale of a majority stake in its Smith Barney brokerage unit to Morgan Stanley.” Selling profitable assets usually ends up looking good. This should not be surprising. [AP via Miami Herald]

Scoping | 07.16.09

JPMorgan Earnings Soar as It Finds Profit in Slump – “Even as it weathers the worst economic downturn in decades, JPMorgan Chase on Thursday announced a $2.7 billion second-quarter profit from stellar trading and investment banking results.” BO-NUS! BO-NUS! BO-NUS! [New York Times]
U.S. Regulators to BofA: Obey or Else – “Bank of America Corp. is operating under a secret regulatory sanction that requires it to overhaul its board and address perceived problems with risk and liquidity management, according to people familiar with the situation.” Obviously the FDIC’s idea of double-secret probation. [WSJ]
Citi close to secret deal with regulator – Wow! What a co-inky-dink! Citi is on double-secret probation too! [FT.com]

Scoping | 07.15.09

Young ‘depressed’ about money – Has everyone forgotten that spending makes us happy?!? C’mon people! Go out there and get pre-approved on something! [BBC]
Judge won’t drop charge vs ex-Bear Stearns exec – “A U.S. judge refused on Tuesday to dismiss an insider-trading charge against former Bear Stearns hedge fund manager Ralph Cioffi, court documents showed.” [Reuters]
Franklin drops out of group eyeing AIG unit: source – “AIG’s asset management business had drawn interest from both private equity and strategic buyers, sources told Reuters previously. Initial bids for the unit had come in around $500 million but it has taken the company several months to work out a deal.” [Reuters]

Scoping | 07.14.09

maxine waters.jpgLawyer Gets 20 Years in $700 Million Fraud – We’ve heard that Butner is lovely this time of year. [New York Times]
Credit Swaps Investigated by U.S. Justice Department – We’re quite this is occurring at the behest of Maxine Waters because banning CDS is the only logical solution to solving this economic crisis. [Bloomberg]
Goldman executives sold $700m of stock – If there’s anything that Maxine Waters loves hating on more than CDS it’s L to the B and Goldman Sachs. BON-US! BON-US! BON-US! [FT.com]

Scoping | 07.13.09

Stage Set For Sotomayor’s Confirmation Hearings – “As hearings begin, many observers believe only a major blunder could halt the 54-year-old federal appeals court judge’s march toward becoming the first Hispanic, and just the third woman, to sit on the nation’s mightiest bench.” [NPR]
CIT Group Scrambles to Survive, Avoid a Run – Here we go again? [WSJ]
Bank of America Said to Balk at Paying Backstop Fee – “Regulators contend Bank of America owes at least part of a $4 billion fee it agreed to pay in January — even without a completed legal document — because the company benefited from implied U.S. backing on about $118 billion of Merrill Lynch assets, such as mortgage-backed bonds, people familiar with the matter said.” [Bloomberg]

Scoping | 07.09.09

Dollar Will Remain World’s Main Reserve Currency – Sayeth Robert Gibbs, Obama mouthpiece. But there’s more, “‘There are a lot of people that have talked about it, but we don’t think that’s really serious,’ U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said”. Hear that? Not serious! Wa-hoo! GO TEAM AMERICA! [Bloomberg]
GM Will Exit Bankruptcy With $48 Billion in Debt – This will be the “new” GM. The “old” GM will get “unwanted assets, including contaminated factory sites, a parking lot in Flint, Michigan, and a nine-hole golf course in New Jersey.” Sounds like a winner! [Bloomberg]
U.S. jobless claims drop steeply – Calm down. It’s new jobless claims. It’s not like the unemployed are finding work. [Reuters]

Scoping | 07.08.09

IRS_logo-thumb-150x140.jpgSwitzerland thwarts US tax deal – The Swiss Government is not down for any kind of deal. They figured offering Toblerones was the best they could do so now they want the IRS to drop it. [BBC]
Apple’s Disclosures on Jobs Said to Be Subject of SEC Review – “Apple Inc.’s disclosures about Steve Jobs’s health remain under scrutiny by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators over how his condition went from ‘relatively simple’ to “more complex” in nine days, said a person familiar with the matter.” [Bloomberg]
In California, Even the I.O.U’s Are Owed – “The only thing worse than being issued an i.o.u. rather than a check from the State of California may be not getting the i.o.u. at all — at least in time to meet the deadline of your bank.” Keep it up Cali and we’ll take your beaches away. [New York Times]

Scoping | 07.07.09

U.S. House May Include Surtax on Wealthy in Health-Care Package – In this particular case, wealthy means greater than $200k [Bloomberg]
Obama Adviser Says U.S. Should Mull Second Stimulus – Because you knew it was coming [Bloomberg via Clusterstock]
NOT THE BAIR MINIMUM – She Bair might be playing in somebody else’s sandbox [New York Post]

Scoping | 07.06.09

•GM bankruptcy plan gains approval – Because anything less might get you a meeting with the President. [BBC]
•A Goldman trading scandal? – “On July 4, Aleynikov was processed on a ‘theft of trade secrets’ charge in a criminal complaint that was filed in federal court in Manhattan. As of this afternoon, he was still being held in federal custody pending posting of bail.” Someone is messing with GS? This aggression will not stand, obv. [Matthew Goldstein/Reuters]
•Stanford Funneled Millions Under Florida’s Nose – “But to pull it off, he needed unprecedented help from the state of Florida, which would have to grant him the right to move vast amounts of money offshore, without reporting a penny to regulators. He got it.” Because if any state was going to be good for a little shady dealing with a Texas billionaire of questionable means, it would be F-L-A. [DealBook/NYT]

Scoping | 07.02.09

California in ‘fiscal emergency’ – Can’t really decide which state capital has more clowns per capita, Sacramento or Albany [BBC]
Former HealthSouth executive gets prison time – 3 months. Meh [AP via Miami Herald]
Big Pay Packages Return to Wall Street – Paging Congressman Frank [WSJ]

Scoping | 07.01.09

A Forecast With Hope Built In – Hope has got nothing on reality [New York Times]
Justice Department demands UBS client names – “Swiss bank UBS AG ”systematically and deliberately” violated U.S. law by dispatching private bankers to recruit wealthy Americans interested in evading taxes and must be forced to reveal the identities of 52,000 of those clients, the Justice Department said in a court filing in Miami Tuesday.” [AP via Miami Herald]

ADP Estimates U.S. Companies Cut Payrolls by 473,000
– Estimates ahead of tomorrow’s number keep us under 10% unemployment! Cross your fingers! [Bloomberg]

Scoping | 06.30.09

Waiting for Madoff, Angry Crowd Is Disappointed – Apparently, everyone was hoping for a lynching in Union Square. 150 years is so unsatisfying. [New York Times]

Madoff Faces Harsher Imprisonment Than Corporate Predecessors
[Bloomberg]

Deficit forces California to issue IOUs
– Still as good as cash, right? [FT.com]

UBS Selling Park Ave. Stake
[New York Post]

Scoping | 06.29.09

State Street may face SEC charges over mortgages – “The Boston-based company said on Monday that Securities and Exchange Commission staff issued a ‘Wells’ notice to its banking unit on June 25 related to disclosures and management by State Street Global Advisors of “active” fixed-income strategies in 2007 and in prior periods.” [Reuters]

UBS Said to Seek U.S. Tax Deal in Weeks
– “With a payment of 3 billion to 5 billion Swiss francs, UBS hopes in the next two weeks to settle a lawsuit over the tens of thousands of American clients suspected of tax evasion, the Swiss newspaper Sonntag reported. Analysts on Monday, however, questioned the figure.” [DealBook/NYT]
A Unified Bank Regulator Is a Good Start – Penned by rock star CEO, Jamie Dimon [WSJ]

Scoping | 06.26.09

stanford_orange.jpgStanford Enters Plea; Bail Is Set at $500,000 [New York Times]
After Madoff: Are We Safer? The question should be “Are people any smarter?” because….[Business Week]
• This happened: Pang Took $83 Million From Firm, Filings Say. So we’d be inclined to say that people might be safe but their money sure as hell isn’t. [WSJ]

Scoping | 06.25.09

The SEC Is Too Lax on CEO Health Disclosure – Because someone’s personal health is everybody’s business [Business Week]
Indicted Billionaire to Appear in Court in Texas – It’s showtime: “On Thursday, the 59-year-old Texas financier was expected to have a chance to formally declare in court he is innocent of charges his international banking and financial empire was really just a Ponzi scheme.” [DealBook/NYT]

Study Ties Madoff Losses to Charity’s Board Size
– [DealBook/NYT]

Scoping | 06.24.09

Antigua fires finance regulator – Not exactly the most surprising news of the day. [BBC]

Cuomo’s Money Manager Received Funds Linked to Pension Scandal
– “EnTrust Capital Inc., a hedge fund firm that’s handled New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s personal and campaign money, received state pension funds to invest from a company he has identified as paying possible illegal kickbacks.” Um, awkward. [Bloomberg]

Missing Governor Was in Argentina
– Getting some South American tail no doubt. Deadbeat Dad. [WSJ]

Scoping | 06.23.09

At Least Seven Killed in Red Line Crash – “One Metro train slammed into the back of another on the Red Line at the height of the evening rush yesterday, killing at least seven people and injuring more than 70 others in the deadliest accident in Metrorail’s 33-year-history.” [Washington Post]

Conspiracy surrounds $134bn ‘bond’ find
– If the blogosphere is good for anything, it’s a conspiracy [BBC]

Experts: Apple Disclosure ‘Falls Short’
– [Business Week]

Scoping | 06.22.09

U.S. seeks delay on calculating Madoff restitution – Sentencing will not be delayed. Whew! We’re not sure if we can wait much longer for victims’ statements [Reuters via DealBook]

Sorry America, We Still Have No Clue What To Do About ‘Too Big To Fail’
– Newspeak phrase of the day: “Tier 1 Financial Holding Companies” [Clusterstock]

All together now: ‘F is for failure’
– Hey, it’s all around. Somebody’s got to talk about it. [FT Alphaville]