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Accounting News Roundup: AIG’s Accounting Hocus Pocus; Japan’s Latest Scandal; KPMG UK Staff’s Lost Bonuses | 02.24.12

AIG Profit Surges on Tax Benefit [WSJ]
American International Group Inc. reported profit of $19.8 billion in the fourth quarter, thanks to a large tax benefit the bailed-out insurer booked after predicting it can keep generating profits in coming years. AIG recognized $17.7 billion in tax benefits in the last three months of 2011, an amount that dwarfed the roughly $1.6 billion in operating income from its insurance businesses and other units during the period. Still, the operating profit of 82 cents a share beat analysts' consensus estimate of a 63 cents a share.

Japanese Fund Loses $2.3 Billion [WSJ]
Japan's financial regulator said Friday it has halted operations of a little-known Tokyo money-management company after the firm allegedly lost billions of dollars in client money. In one of the biggest cases of its kind in Japan, with Tokyo's reputation as a financial center still bruised by the billion-dollar Olympus Corp. accounting scandal, the regulator said investigators found that AIJ Investment Advisors Co. can't account for "most of" the 183 billion yen, or about $2.3 billion, in pension-fund assets under management.

Ex-Financial Officer Of Pontiac Church Charged With Embezzlement [WWJ]
Thou shalt not steal.

Deloitte CEO: U.S. economy poised for recovery [CBF]
Echevarria, a graduate of the University of Miami, said his trip to Columbus also closed the book on a near-decade long struggle he has had with the Hurricanes’ loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2002 national championship. “This is the last part of my recovery.”

KPMG trainees furious after audit arm axes £1,000 bonus [CityAM]
“Staff in the UK are furious, with emails flying across the UK offices. The feeling amongst staff is that the senior leadership appear increasingly out of touch from those in the lower grades.”
Our Lin-sane attraction to terrible puns, explained [MSNBC]
"Unlike other forms of humor, puns may only appeal to a small subset of the population who can catch and identify the wordplay," points out McGraw, who directs the Humor Research Lab. As for what makes things funny, McGraw and a colleague have come up with their own theory that humor is elicited by benign violations. This hypothesis suggests that anything that is threatening to your sense of how the world "ought to be" will be humorous, as long as the threatening situation also seems benign.  Given this theory, Lin puns violate linguistic (Lin-guistic!) norms of how words ought to be, but they may only get a few yuks out of bookish types or sports fans who can catch their meaning. Word nerds and jocks — united at last. "Puns are considered the lowest form of humor — a reason why speakers say, 'no pun intended,' denying responsibility for their spontaneous e-joke-ulation," quips Dr. Robert Provine, a laughter researcher and a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


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