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Accounting News Roundup: CFO Pay Up 19%; SEC Mum on Upcoming IFRS Roundtable; The Battle Over LIFO | 06.30.11

Pay Tally Up 19% for Finance Chiefs [WSJ]
Median pay for chief financial officers of S&P 500 companies surged 19% to $2.9 million last year, as profits and stock valuations rebounded and some finance chiefs assumed broader responsibilities, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. CFO pay varied widely, from less than $600,000 to more than $60 million. Five CFOs received more than $20 million in compensation. Growth in pay partly reflected the growing clout and multiple responsibilities of some finance chiefs, and moves by some companies to combine the function with others.

Fannie Mae Silence on Taylor Bean Enabled $3B Fraud [Bloomberg]
The first sign of what would ultimately become a $3 billion fraud surfaced Jan. 11, 2000, when Fannie Mae executive Samuel Smith discovered Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. sold him a loan owned by someone else. Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise which issues almost half of all mortgage-backed securities, determined over the next two years that more than 200 loans acquired from Taylor Bean were bogus, non-performing or lacked critical components such as mortgage insurance.

In Deficit Plan, Taxes Must Rise, President Warns [NYT]
President Obama pressured Republicans on Wednesday to accept higher taxes as part of any plan to pare down the federal deficit, bluntly telling lawmakers that they “need to do their job” and strike a deal before the United States risks defaulting on its debt.

LivingSocial Said to Be in Talks With Banks for $1 Billion IPO [Bloomberg]
LivingSocial, the second-largest website devoted to daily coupons, is selecting investment banks for an initial public offering that may value the company at $10 billion to $15 billion, according to a person with direct knowledge of the talks. The Washington, D.C.-based company is seeking to raise about $1 billion in an IPO and has had conversations with Barclays Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Allen & Co. to lead the offering, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. LivingSocial also has talked with additional banks for the IPO, which may happen by the end of the year, the person said.

No News from the SEC on its IFRS Roundtable is Bad News [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling can’t get any details for the upcoming dog and pony show.

Spreadtrum Says Muddy Waters Questions Over Its Accounting Are Groundless [Bloomberg]
Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (SPRD), the Chinese chip designer whose accounting was questioned by Muddy Waters LLC, responded to the short seller’s report today by saying inventory surged last year because of new products. Muddy Waters, the investment firm run by Carson Block whose research has preceded almost $5 billion in share losses among Chinese companies trading in North America, cited a fivefold increase in inventory in a letter to Spreadtrum’s management. Block’s firm said the company’s deferred costs may have climbed too fast in explaining why it was betting the stock will fall.

Energy Cos Face Big Tax Hit If Congress Ends Accounting Method [Dow Jones]
As contentious negotiations over how to raise the federal government’s $14.29 trillion debt ceiling continue, Republicans lawmakers this week sharply criticized the White House for wanting to repeal the “last-in, first-out,” or LIFO, accounting method in order to raise revenue. The Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan Congressional research office, has estimated that repealing the method would generate new revenue of nearly $70 billion over 10 years, but the GOP charged that such a move could cripple struggling manufacturers.

PwC Appoints Nick Walker to Lead Kentucky Market [PwC]
Mr. Walker takes the helm in Louisville from Philip Gregory who is retiring after 33 years with P. Dubs.

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