November 20, 2018

Ben Bernanke

Bernanke: This Ride Isn’t Over

“[W]e have come a long way, but there is still some way to travel.”

~ The Fed Chairman wants you to chew on that while he kicks it in Jackson Hole.

Accounting News Roundup: BP’s Ugly 2nd Quarter; Bernanke Backs Extending Some Tax Cuts; Back-to-school Sales Tax Holidays | 07.27.10

BP replaces CEO and posts $17 billion quarterly loss [Reuters]
“Oil giant BP Plc launched a plan to repair its battered image in the United States on Tuesday, ditching itsxecutive and promising to slim down by trebling an asset sale target to $30 billion.

However, the company, the target of public anger over its Gulf of Mexico oil spill, tempted further ire by denying it needed cultural change and offsetting the costs of the spill, including expected fines, against its taxes.

The tax move will cost the U.S. taxpayer almost $10 billion.”

Northern Rock CFO Banned And Fined GBP320,000 Over Bad Loans [Dow Jones]
“David Jones, the former chief financial officer of Northern Rock PLC, was Tuesday fined GBP320,000 and barred from working in finance after the Financial Services Authority found he misled investors about the bank’s bad loans in the lead-up to the bank’s eventual collapse.

Jones most recently was CFO at Northern Rock Asset Management PLC, the “bad bank” of the nationalized lender after a restructuring of its operations. He left the company in April because of the FSA investigation, a week after two former colleagues were fined and banned for their roles in making the bank’s 2006 bad-loan figures appear better than they were.”

Where will those next gen clients come from? [AccMan]
And what will ask of their professional service providers? Right now, Gen X and Millenials don’t compromise much of the client base but that will change quickly when Baby Boomers start retiring en masse. What these new business owners will ask of their service providers is not quite clear. Similar to the demands currently placed on employers, service providers will have to be flexible and innovative.

Bernanke Says Tax-Cut Extension Maintains Stimulus [Bloomberg]
“Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said extending at least some of the tax cuts set to expire this year would help strengthen a U.S. economy still in need of stimulus and urged offsetting the move with increased revenue or lower spending.

‘In the short term I would believe that we ought to maintain a reasonable degree of fiscal support, stimulus for the economy,’ Bernanke said yesterday under questioning from the House Financial Services Committee’s senior Republican. ‘There are many ways to do that. This is one way.’ ”


Accounting firm Kaufman Rossin & Co. settles case for $9.6M [Miami Herald]
Kaufman Rossin was the auditor of the two Palm Beach funds that invested over a billion dollars with convicted Ponzi Schemer Tom Petters.

And in case you forgot, convicted forensic accountant and suit lover Lew Freeman was the Chief Restructuring Officer for the Palm Beach funds. Quite the cesspool.

How Low Self-Esteem Can Cost You The Job [Forbes]
Are you a low talker? No one is suggesting that you don’t know what you’re talking about but the perception could be that you don’t and in turn, It could be affecting your career.

Lords to probe audit market [Accountancy Age]
“A recent report from the FRC and FSA criticised the role of auditors during the crisis saying they had failed to tackle management bias.

The Lords investigation will look at basic questions such as wether Big Four dominance increases the price of audit and whether the market needs to be opened up.”

Oracle’s Ellison: Pay King [WSJ]
$1.84 billion over the last ten years is not too shabby.

Sales tax holidays 2010 [Don’t Mess with Taxes]
Kay Bell has a rundown of the sixteen states that are having sales tax holidays right before the kids go back to school.

Ben Bernanke’s Idea of “Recovery” Might Not Correlate with Yours

“My best guess is we’ll have continued recovery, but it won’t feel terrific.”

~ Ben Bernanke takes a stab at the economy.

We’re Talking About Congress, Right?

“I continue to count on good sense and wisdom to trump short-term political advantage.”

~ Ben Bernanke, who may be right out of his mind.

Bernanke: Bailouts ‘Imposed No Cost on the Taxpayer’

Ben Bernanke claims there is “no net impact” to U.S. taxpayers involved in bailing out the TBTF banks, state unemployment funds, car companies, insurance companies, GSEs; need I continue? You know the list by now.

The impact in question comes from the size of the Fed’s swollen balance sheet, surely you are familiar with the number by now. I don’t have to remind you little beancounters that the Fed writes its own accounting manual, so take that “balance sheet” for what it is worth.

“These programs, which imposed no cost on the taxpayer, were a critical part of the government’s efforts to stabilize the financial system and restart the flow of credit,” said Bernanke in prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee. Not even a snow day could keep him from this one.


Have you ever seen a “company” drastically reduce the size of its balance sheet? Me neither. Next.

The indirect “net impact” of all of this, of course, is a drag on unemployment. While on a federal level, inflation will have to run hot enough to cover a growing deficit, bankrupt municipalities and states are bleeding businesses and residents dry. So who will be financing the Fed’s unloading of assets? It is unlikely to be the extinct “middle class”.

As many of you already know, CPA Trendlines tracks accounting unemployment numbers regularly. I know some of you are prone to stick to what we did last year but last year didn’t work and we’re about due for some sort of revolt. The BLS revisions represent a significant material deficiency in what we’re being told versus what is actually happening; you kids wouldn’t eat up the layoff posts if it didn’t exist.

So there is Bernanke’s net impact. Need I continue?

Unemployment taxes are up for those who can still afford a workforce. Encouraging.

Though not measurable in the same way as tax increases and wild inflation, the regulatory impact is also one worth recognizing. How many bad rules will result? I don’t do the math part, sorry. Let’s just sit around and let the rest of the world dictate how we can rebuild the integrity of our financial statements (?)

I’m not sure what “net impact” meant in economics class to our esteemed Fed Chairman but where I come from, bailout measures do appear to have a net impact on taxpayers, whether or not it’s actually called tax. I’m sure some tax accountants can agree with me on that?

Bernanke’s Next Four Years

We’re skipping >75 this week because apparently none of you have any CPA exam questions. That’s sad. Really? None? Well if you do, send them over. Please. JDA needs to eat.

Anyway, let’s talk about Bernanke’s confirmation!

WSJ:

Ben Bernanke won the backing of the Senate for a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve by a comfortable margin Thursday. Even with that storm behind him, Mr. Bernanke faces formidable political and economic challenges made tougher by the bruising confirmation fight.

Yeah, ok, let’s ignore the fact that the Fed spent the last week buttering up everyone they could to get to push Bernanke through. WSJ made it really easy with a chart of Senators who were going to vote for him, who weren’t, and who were undecided. It was a fucking Fed Telethon trying to save Bernanke’s ass and with a 70-30 vote, apparently they won.


Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher wrote in the WSJ that Congress is Politicizing the Fed but Market Ticker argued that The Fed is Politicizing the Fed. What do you call making a last ditch effort to convince undecided Senators to keep the Bernanke crack flowing? That’s not necessarily the Fed getting political, it’s just them trying to save their own asses.

I’m not going to rant about Zimbabwe Ben and his mission to destroy the dollar. In some ways, I’m glad this thing is over with and Bernanke is the least of all evils (Larry Summers for one) but it’s funny that markets reacted as they did when Bernanke’s confirmation was “up in the air” (LOL, we all knew what would happen).

I would hate to go all conspiratorial and throw out “manipulation” as the culprit, nor can I pretend to know what charts mean.

Don’t miss The Bernanke Confirmation: Incompetence, Indifference and Institutional Inertia via Huffington Post.

DealBook:

The Senate voted 70 to 30 on Thursday afternoon to confirm Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve for another four years, Sewell Chan of The New York Times reports from Washington. The confirmation came minutes after senators voted 77 to 23 to end a debate in which critics excoriated the central bank’s handling of the financial crisis.

The confirmation was a victory for President Obama, who had called Mr. Bernanke a critical leader in the nation’s recovery from recession, but the rancor in the debate also signaled the extent to which the Fed, once little known to the public, has become the object of populist anger over high unemployment and bank bailouts.

Grrrrr.

Quote of the Day | 01.26.10

“The problem with dumping him at this stage is that it won’t really get to the heart of the matter, which is that he’s just one of a cast of characters who need to be ousted. The problem is the ensemble. I think it’s a bit like you’re not liking the cast of Seinfeld, and just getting rid of Elaine.”

~ Gary Weiss on Ben Bernanke, et al.

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]

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 | 07.22.09

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]

Review Comments | 07.21.09

Ben_Bernanke.jpgBernanke Sheds Light on Exit Strategy – “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke shed light Tuesday on the toolkit the central bank can employ to unwind its crisis measures, but he made clear to lawmakers that the economy remains too weak to start tightening monetary policy.” Better than no exit strategy [WSJ]
CIT Expects Loss of $1.5 Billion, May Seek Bankruptcy – “CIT Group Inc., the 101-year-old commercial lender seeking to avoid collapse, said it expects to report a loss of more than $1.5 billion for the second quarter and may need to file for bankruptcy if it’s unable to tender for notes maturing next month.” [Bloomberg]
Apple’s quarterly profit tops forecasts – The good results… [Reuters]
Yahoo sees drop in income from operations this quarter – …and the bad. [Reuters]
Which Of Alan Greenspan’s More Quotable Quotes Will Bite Him In The Ass On The Big Screen? [DealBreaker]
The Goldman Way to Celebrate: a Parody – Well played LB. Well played. [DealBook]