Nanette's Feed
Dec 2, 2011

Corrected – MF Global proves Enron-era accounting lives on

(The following story was corrected to reflect repo-to-maturity part of Nomura’s exposure, paragraph 17; this version was repeat of story from Thurday, Dec. 1)

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – The off-balance-sheet accounting methods that Enron and Lehman Brothers made famous in their epic failures years ago have a modern-day poster child: MF Global (MFGLQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research).

Dec 2, 2011

MF Global proves Enron-era accounting lives on

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – The off-balance-sheet accounting methods that Enron and Lehman Brothers made famous in their epic failures years ago have a modern-day poster child: MF Global (MFGLQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research).

Like its predecessors, the bankrupt brokerage formerly run by Jon Corzine took advantage of an accounting maneuver to keep certain financial obligations off its books, making the firm look less indebted and thus less a risk than it really was.

Dec 1, 2011

Analysis: MF Global proves Enron-era accounting lives on

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – The off-balance-sheet accounting methods that Enron and Lehman Brothers made famous in their epic failures years ago have a modern-day poster child: MF Global.

Like its predecessors, the bankrupt brokerage formerly run by Jon Corzine took advantage of an accounting maneuver to keep certain financial obligations off its books, making the firm look less indebted and thus less a risk than it really was.

Nov 3, 2011

Analysis: Economy’s shifts erode states’ tax bases

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – State governments across the United States are just a few months into their fiscal years and already many fear that tax revenues are running short of forecasts.

This is getting to be an annual ritual. Officials in New York, California, Florida and Washington this year have all expressed concerns about the outlook.

Oct 24, 2011

U.S. watchdog warns on China audits

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – Any attempts by China to bar Big Four auditors from shipping summaries of Chinese audits out of that country for review in the United States or elsewhere would constitute “a long-arm interdiction” of the firms’ internal work, the top U.S. audit industry watchdog said on Monday.

In a frank assessment of a dispute over inspecting audits of U.S.-listed Chinese companies, U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Chairman James Doty said talks between U.S. and Chinese officials had hit “new bumps in the road.”

Oct 17, 2011

U.S. bank accounting rule has big earnings impact

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) — A $1.9 billion accounting gain by Citigroup, more than half of the $3.8 billion net income it reported for the third-quarter, highlights a controversial accounting rule that analysts say is adding volatility to many large banks’ reported earnings.

They expect it to continue to be a factor as more banks report earnings in the coming weeks.

Oct 16, 2011

Accounting can be door to professional class

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Gemma Urquiza interviewed for her job at True Partners, a Chicago tax and consulting firm, she remembers talking about her university honors, her ambitions and her dad’s restaurant.

Urquiza, 25, is the eldest of four children of Mexican immigrants and, like many first-generation Americans, she’s found accounting to be a perfect fit.

Oct 9, 2011

Corporate audit fees up? Beware of trouble ahead

Oct 9 (Reuters) – Elevated audit fees can be a red flag of
problems to come for a company, say three recent academic
studies that together warn about increased chances of fraud,
stock price declines or financial restatements.

Companies have been disclosing how much they pay their
auditors since 2001, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission instituted the requirement as part of a push to
improve corporate auditor independence.

Sep 29, 2011

Strapped U.S. states crave bigger online tax bite

By Nanette Byrnes

(Reuters) – With holiday shopping season near and billions of dollars in sales tax at stake, financially strapped state and local governments are pushing to collect more tax on online purchases, but real progress will require action in Washington where political gridlock prevails.

Recent efforts by California made headlines nationwide when Amazon.com, one of the world’s largest online retailers, agreed to begin collecting taxes on sales in that state as early as next September.

Sep 26, 2011

Shell Games: A cautious crackdown in Nevada

26 (Reuters) – Early this month, Nevada
Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office shut down a Las Vegas
registered agent called Power Point Management and revoked the
corporate status of its 427 active clients.

It was an example of how his office will “aggressively
enforce our statutes and regulations,” Miller said, warning that
his state’s ‘business friendly’ ethos “should not be interpreted
to mean ‘haven for bad actors.’”