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Accounting News Roundup: Auditor Failure, Backing Off Romney, Expensive Steaks | 08.21.12

Regulator Says Broker Audits Fail to Include Required Work [NYT, Earlier]
“The auditors,” said Jeanette M. Franzel, a member of the board, “were not properly fulfilling their responsibilities to provide an independent check on brokers’ and dealers’ financial reporting and compliance with S.E.C. rules.”

A Lesson in Loan Accounting from an Unexpected Source: Oil and Gas Companies [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling: "[E]stimates of loan loss reserves are ineffable; and methodologies for predicting future losses are, to say the least, controversial.  It's a paradox that oil and gas managers engage outside experts to estimate reserves for financial reporting purposes; yet bank managers, who have the more subjective task, think they know enough to estimate loan loss reserves all by themselves."

Leave Romney Alone [DT]
Anthonye Nitti: "This is who Mitt Romney is, at least in part: a rich guy with rich guy tax problems and rich guy tax solutions. Romney wasn’t obligated to pay any more tax than the law required, and he very likely didn’t. His refusal to overpay the government shouldn’t be an indictment on his ability to lead a government. As a voting public, we’ve got to be able to compartmentalize Mitt Romney the presidential candidate from Mitt Romney the aggressive taxpayer."

Burning Question: Do Germs Spread on Airport Security Lines? [WSJ]
[U]nless you're in the middle of a monsoon and the airport has flooded, you're not going to be sloshing through a sea of water and spreading foot germs." Even in the humid month of August, when sweaty feet traipse through airport security, the area is essentially a dry environment.

Peter Luger Steak Prices May Soar As Drought Culls Herds [Bloomberg]

The worst Midwest drought since 1956 has scorched crops and sent the price of corn, the main ingredient in livestock feed, up 62.8 percent since mid-June. Ranchers are culling herds to avoid feed costs, flooding the market with cheap supplies of beef. There’s a parallel decline in the quantity of animals that yield the highest-quality prime cuts, which require months of extra feeding. The shift will be felt in steakhouse menus down the road. “Today’s issues are next year’s price increases,” said Lee Hanson, co-chef and an owner of the Minetta Tavern, one of only two Michelin-starred steakhouses in New York (Peter Luger is the other), in an e-mail. To make a prime steak, prairie-fed steer are fattened for an additional two to three months on a high-calorie corn diet and penned in so their muscle turns to marbled flab before they’re slaughtered. The best cuts are then dry-aged in a humidity-free cooler for six to eight weeks before they’re served. Corn prices reached a record $8.49 a bushel this month, and fewer ranchers can afford to fatten cows to prime.
Flavor Flav Does He Have a Tax Lien? YEAH, BOYYYY! [TMZ]
I thought for sure this guy was dead.
GHSU lab tech found drunk, partially clothed, police say [AC]

According to a GHSU Police Bureau incident report, a co-worker discovered Coley Mitchell, 32, partially unclothed in a locker room in the Sanders Research and Education Building about 10:30 p.m. Monday. Campus police said Mitchell, a Lab Animal Services technician, was intoxicated and seated in a chair with his pants half-down. The spokeswoman said two monkeys were found outside their cages in the lab but were confined to the room.


Posted in ANR