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Accounting News Roundup: Agree to Disagree on Inversion Legislation; Accidents Happen in Life at Deloitte; Americans Suck at Math | 07.24.14

Obama Administration Presses for Retroactive Legislation on Tax Inversions [DealBook]
Everyone in Congress agrees that they can't agree on tax reform so a quick fix on inversions is necessary. Unfortunately, the two parties can't agree on that either: "There is growing consensus on Capitol Hill that the rush of inversions should be stopped. Lawmakers from both parties worry that the more companies move their headquarters to countries like Ireland and the Netherlands, the more the American tax base is being compromised. And given the unlikelihood of comprehensive tax reform getting passed anytime soon, both Democrats and Republicans seem to agree that a short-term fix is needed. But already, there is partisan disagreement about what anti-inversion legislation should look like."

IASB Gives Non-U.S. Banks a Loan-Accounting Overhaul [WSJ]
Let the grumbling begin: "Under the new standard issued Thursday, non-U.S. banks will have to book loan losses based on their expectation that future losses will occur, beginning in 2018. That is expected to speed up the booking of losses and require greater loan-loss reserves. Currently, banks don't record losses until they have actually happened, but many observers believe that method led banks to be too slow in taking losses during the financial crisis. But the London-based International Accounting Standards Board's move, which has been in the works for years, could create a conundrum for the banking industry: Because U.S. and global rule makers haven't been able to agree on the same accounting approach for writing off bad loans, it could become more difficult to compare U.S. banks and those outside the U.S."

IRS technician: Lerner hard drive not intentionally damaged [The Hill]
Can we all go home now? " '
Nothing in my course of the examination and observations made me believe that this was sabotage or any kind of strange physical damage,' said John Minsek, a technician with the IRS’s criminal investigations unit."

I suspect assault on a biker.

‘Bring It On,’ Frank Tells Dodd-Frank Critics at Hearing [Bloomberg]
Barney Frank is happy to trade barbs with you: “I know the chairman said the financial reform bill is as damaging as the health-care bill,” the now-bearded Massachusetts Democrat said, referring to the current Republican chairman, Jeb Hensarling of Texas. “Well my recollection is this Republican Congress votes on a fairly regular basis to repeal the health-care bill. But where’s your bill to repeal the financial reform bill? If you have the courage of your convictions, bring it on.”

Maria Popova's Advice on the Hardest Part of Succeeding [Lifehacker]
That is, don't get caught in the metrics (e.g. billable hours): "Most of us would do well to remember this the next time we're working overtime for that extra one per cent." 

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? [NYTM]
Americans are the worst: "One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it. Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray."

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