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Accounting News Roundup: Big 8 Nostalgia; Taxes Stumping Not-So-Supercommittee; PwC’s New Global Head of Tax | 10.28.11

Longing for the Days of the Big Eight [Reuters]
[A]s corporations become more global, the need for economies of scale may require fewer larger firms. Still, the right number is probably more than four.

A firewall to stop Europe’s crisis spreading [FT]
BO: “Given the scope of the challenge and the threat to the global economy, it is important for all of us that this strategy be implemented successfully – including building a credible firewall that prevents the crisis from spreading, strengthening European banks, charting a sustainable path for Greece and tackling the structural issues at the heart of the current crisis. The European Union is America’s single largest economic partner and a critical anchor of the global economy. I am confident that Europe has the financial and economic capacity to meet this challenge, and the US will continue to support our European partners as they work to resolve this crisis.”

Taxes Remain Stumbling Block For Deficit Panel [WSJ]
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) acknowledged that the 12-member House-Senate Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was still far from reaching an agreement, but he said he was keeping up the pressure on the panel not to give up. “I expect that it’s going to be very difficult to get to an outcome, but I am committed to getting to an outcome,” he said. “We’re into the really tough time and it is going to take a lot more work.”

Republicans put faith in radical tax plans [FT]
The US budget may be drowning in red ink, but that has only spurred Republican candidates to propose cuts in tax rates for individuals and companies as they compete for the right to challenge Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Three candidates – Rick Perry, the Texas governor, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker, and Herman Cain, a businessman and radio host – have put forward radical plans for flat taxes. In the Reaganite tradition of supply-side economics, these candidates see their flatter tax proposals as both their main growth engines and a potential route to a balanced budget.

Consultant gets 10 years in massive accounting fraud at western Pa.’s defunct Le-Nature’s [AP]
Fifty-five-year-old Andrew Murin, of McMurray, was sentenced Thursday based on a June guilty plea to mail fraud in the scam that cost lenders, investors and vendors more than $650 million.

Exposing Auditors’ Work [Fraud Files]
Lately, there has been talk of more requirements for auditors: more disclosures, more discussion, more information on who is doing the audits. Would a narrative by the auditors add more meaning to audit reports?

Overstock’s “Likely” Breach of Debt Covenants [WCF]
Make no mistake, Sam Antar is enjoying this.

Zetas drug cartel ‘accountant’ detained [Telegraph]
Mexican marines detained alleged Zetas “accountant” Carmen del Consuelo Saenz two days ago in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, along 10 other alleged Zetas members. Saenz, 29, was allegedly in charge of receiving proceeds from drug sales, pirated goods, kidnappings and extortions in five southern states of Mexico, said Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara. Saenz used the illicit proceeds to bribe authorities and meet the drug gang’s payroll, he said.

PwC appoints global head of tax [Accountancy Age]
Richard Stamm is your man.

Posted in ANR