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Compliments of Jack Pearson, ABC Corp. July 22 - 28, 2002
EMAIL FORMAT -- FAXABLE, TEXT VERSION HERE.

(Personal salutation, optional)

Hope all is well. Wanted to make sure the FASB-IASB September 18 meeting planner didn't go under your radar. Also, see how XL is responding to MBIA's hiring of Bob Packwood as offshore tax lobbyist?  Give me a call if you want to discuss...Jack


Upcoming Roundtable: 5 Strengths of the Sarbanes Bill
August 7, 2:30 PM EST

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News
This week's market-movers.


SEC targets banks; In-house cleanups begin

Monday

Stock option
accounting reform should be "low on the list of priorities," said SEC Chief Accountant Robert Herdman, who is at the center of the SEC’s accounting reforms.
Financial Times


Tuesday
J.P. Morgan and Citicorp were accused by Senate investigators of helping Enron "camouflage" $8 billion in off-the-book loans over six years.
New York Times


Deloitte Consulting was renamed Braxton, after the consultancy it purchased in 1984.
Wall Street Journal


On behalf of the IRS, the Justice Dept. sued US arms of KPMG and BDO. The IRS is seeking evidence that those firms have been marketing tax shelters improperly.
Accountancy Age (UK)


Bush: "Corporate governance legislation will spark market recovery." Market responds negatively.


CMS Energy Corp., accused of false power trades, announced CFO Alan Wright's resignation.


Wednesday
Citigroup, J.P
. Morgan Chase officials told Senators their Enron financing (and structured finance) was legit. Senators disagreed. Bank stocks dropped sharply.
WSJ, NYT, Financial Times


Accounting regulators put PNC Financial under six-month watch.
Knight-Ridder


British MPs called for a Competition Commission inquiry into the Big Four.
London Times


AOL reveals it is latest SEC accounting target. Share price drops six percent.
New York Times


Harvey Pitt asked for a higher salary and more clout. No. Washington Post, NYT


Thursday
The IRS apologized for revealing the names of hundreds of taxpayers in its tax-shelter lawsuit against KPMG. Those involved should be investigated. Partisan too.
WSJ Editorial page


Telecom next-- Adelphia, Global Crossing, Qwest, billions gone, no sector reform.
NYT


The White House initiated a market fallout containment strategy. Yesterday it took credit for the Adelphia arrests and cancelled Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill trips.
NYT


Friday
PwC sold U.S. restructuring business to Annapolis, Md.-based FTI Consulting Inc., in a $230m deal. The auditor has also sold valuation, lobbying, and HR businesses.
WSJ


Sandy Weill apologized to his 270 thousand Citigroup employees for supporting Enron. "By today's new standards…we will evaluate client transactions in an entirely different light." Also, its potential Achilles heel – ubiquitous financial services -- is exposed.
FT, WSJ


Amazon.com is latest to deduct stock option costs, perversely evading black ink.


Saturday/Sunday
It’s a tax loophole blessed by the IRS. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s tax head uses life insurance to pass wealth without much taxation and it’s a hit. Controversy alert.
NYT


Accounting firm KPMG was put on probation for a year for alleged gross negligence and unprofessional conduct that contributed to Orange County's 1994 bankruptcy filing.
LA Times


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Upcoming Roundtable: 5 Strengths of the Sarbonnes Bill
August 7, 2:30 PM EST

Each month ABC brings together firm partners and clients in its "Roundtable" Web Conference series, where the day's biggest issues are discussed. Client participation also welcome. Click here to sign up.
 

Rules
On the tables of The SEC, FASB, AICPA and other rule-makers.


The Financial Accounting Foundation (which runs FASB and GASB) voted to increase the independence of its trustee appointment process, announced FAF chair Manuel H. Johnson.


Nasdaq proposed and publicized new sweeping corporate governance reforms.
Nasdaq


The FASB board’s rest-of-year to-do list:
Final interpretations on consolidation of some special-purpose entities and on guarantor’s accounting and disclosure requirements for guarantees;
Definitions and setting of "principle-based" standards; Identification of necessary changes if the US moves toward issuing less rule-based standards;
Preparation for the Sept. 18 FASB-IASB meeting on the basic principles of reporting financial performance -- a formal step in harmonized  US and international standards. FASB


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Trends
   

Notable opinions, insights and long-term views.


Monday
Big Four
campaign contributions rose by two thirds this year to $350,000. Biggest recipients are NY State Gov. Pataki and Eliot Spitzer. Issue: NY reforms moving too fast.
NYT 


Tuesday
A new study by Deloitte & Touche found the share price of merged firms underperformed the stock market by 11 percent over the first three years. But corporate divorces increased values.


PwC’s DiPiazza argues in a provocative new book that auditors should exceed GAAP.
FT


WorldCom’s $10b bankruptcy filed Sunday is the largest ever. Telecom shakeup next?
WSJ


The El Paso Corporation is growing more reliant on deals so complex that securities experts call them incomprehensible. Expect more media scrutiny.
NYT


3Com's new CFO Mark Slaven announced the company was dropping its pro forma reporting.


Investorside is a new NY-based group formed to promote financial analysis that is independent from investment banks. It is comprised of 10 financial research providers.
FT


Many fear that the Enron debacle will push regulators to end today’s structured finance.
FT


Wednesday
Warren Buffet
wrote on NYT’s editorial page that misrepresentations in stock-option accounting and in assumptions about pension fund returns "dwarf the lies of Enron and WorldCom."
NYT


"Legislation could have the perverse effect of making the corporate governance crisis appear worse…," said Brookings Institution’s Robert E. Litan. Lobbyists warn that lawyers will swarm around "a whole new class of corporate criminals," raising costs all around.
WSJ


Thursday
Grant Thornton
, topped the Public Accounting Report's M&A survey, first non-Big Five to do so. GT, 59 deals; KPMG, 25; Andersen, 21; PwC, 7, E&Y, 5; D&T, 2. Chicago Tribune


JP Morgan Chase appears to have been skilled at having its cake and eating it too—that is, keeping special purpose entities independent, yet exercising control.
CFO.com


The Sarbanes Bill’s provision giving US regulators overseas authority threatens to escalate
into a US-UK diplomatic row.
Accountancy Age


Audit committees and their non executive directors will bear the brunt of the government's efforts to re-establish the integrity of auditors.
Accountancy Age


Friday
NY Insurer MBIA hired former Sen. Bob Packwood to oppose corporate tax-avoidance schemes. Rival offshore XL Capital hired its own lobbyist in response.
National Journal


JP Morgan Chase's Marc Shapiro: "Everything that was good a year ago is now bad."
NYT


Saturday
(Re: When Greenspan Shrugged) Ayn Rand was no advocate of greed…She wrote with scathing insight about such unprincipled…behavior. -NYT letter, David Kelley, The Objectivist Center
NYT


Next hot Wall Street growth biz --compliance-- Analysts and bankers get lawyers.
Daily Deal


"…If our markets are rattled right now and foreigners are starting to wonder, it isn't just because people are worried about WorldCom or Enron. It's because they're worried about the SEC and the IRS..." -NYT Op/Ed, T. Friedman
NYT

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Complimentary Research

ABC Corp. Study: 5 Upsides to the Sarbonnes Bill
August 7, 2:30 PM EST

Each month ABC brings together firm partners and clients in its "Roundtable" Web Conference series, where the day's biggest issues are discussed. Client participation also welcome. Click here to sign up.

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Contents


> News
> Rules
> Trends
> Complimentary Research


Accounting Update
Not a bad thing to look over five minutes before the Monday morning meeting.
All the news, rules and trends that matter to CFOs, Audit Committees and all key executives and directors.



 
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