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Accounting News Roundup: Even More on Twitter; Yes, Extended Tax Returns Are Still Due Tomorrow; Detroit CFO’s Rough Start | 10.14.13

It's Columbus Day, one of those faux-holidays where some banks, businesses, schools, state and local government offices are closed and some are not. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Accordingly, you'll be getting GC lite today — only links and breaking news. We'll be back to full speed tomorrow.

Dimon Defended as ‘Best Manager’ by Board Member Jackson [Bloomberg]
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon deserves shareholders’ support even as mounting legal costs fueled the first quarterly loss of his tenure, said board member Laban P. Jackson. “He’s the best manager I’ve ever seen, and I’m old,” Jackson, 71, said yesterday at the National Association of Corporate Directors’ annual conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland. “He has, as we all do, flaws.” JPMorgan agreed to pay $920 million in penalties last month to settle probes of a multibillion-dollar trading loss, one of myriad woes that forced the New York-based lender to set aside $28 billion for legal costs since early 2010. The debacle was caused by a group of “renegades” inside the chief investment office who thought they had found the perfect trade, said Jackson, who heads the audit committee. “People get to smoking their own dope,” Jackson said. “I’m sure there was some hubris involved.”

Twitter’s S-1: More Social Media Company IPO Drama [GOA]
Tony Catanach: "
Despite exhaustive and sometimes rambling narratives on value propositions for users, platform partners, advertisers and data partners, and discussions of the Company’s growth strategy and related risks, Twitter never explicitly states its singular corporate strategy. This is a real problem!"

How Twitter Insiders Cut Their Taxes [WSJ]
The social-networking company's chairman, Jack Dorsey, is 36 years old, while Evan Williams, the largest individual shareholder, is 41, and Chief Executive Richard Costolo is 49. All three men have been making canny estate-planning moves, according to information from the IPO documents. The moves could save Messrs. Dorsey, Williams and Costolo a total of at least $115 million, and perhaps far more, in federal estate tax at current rates, assuming a Twitter offering price of at least $28 a share. The current top federal estate-tax rate is 40%, and Twitter's home state of California has no state estate tax.

Despite shutdown, taxes are due Tuesday [CNN]

Drunk Driver Led Cops On Chase So He Would Have Enough Time To Finish His Big Mac [TSG]
Responding to a call about a reckless driver, Brunswick Police Department officers located suspect Randall Miller, 31, behind the wheel of a silver SUV that was departing McDonald’s around 1 AM on September 28. “I initiated a traffic stop and the subject failed to stop,” noted Officer Clifford Smith, who added that he chased Miller until the motorist pulled over. Miller, who smelled of booze and was slurring his speech, apologized to Smith, saying he “was too drunk and he just wanted to eat his Big Mac before he stopped.” 

SEC Appoints Daniel Murdock as Deputy Chief Accountant [AT]
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday that has appointed Daniel Murdock, a former Deloitte & Touche director, as a deputy chief accountant in the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant. Murdock assumed his new role this week as head of the office’s accounting group.  The group advises the Commission on accounting and auditing matters and works closely with private sector accounting bodies such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Public companies, auditors and other divisions and offices within the SEC regularly consult with the accounting group on the application of accounting standards and financial disclosure requirements. "I am very pleased that Dan has joined us,” said SEC chief accountant Paul Beswick in a statement. “His expertise in financial reporting will be a valuable resource to our office, this agency, and investors.”

Detroit CFO Apologizes for Offending Co-workers [CFO]
Jim Bosnall, who was hired in July, has gotten off to a rough start: 
In an October 8 letter to Detroit human resources director James Tyler (link provided by The Detroit Free Press), city treasurer Cheryl Johnson, who is black, asserted that Bonsall, who is white, “has created a hostile work environment.” She added that although “[t]his pattern extends beyond ethnic and racial lines, [it] is more pronounced with minority women.” […] In particular, Johnson’s letter recounts comments she alleges the CFO made at a Sept. 18 meeting during a discussion of Angel’s Night, an upcoming annual volunteer effort that encourages residents of Detroit to patrol their neighborhoods to prevent crime. Detroit has the highest rate of violent crime of any city in the nation with a population of 200,000 or more. Johnson, who reports to Bonsall, told him that city appointees were expected to participate by patrolling the city, accompanied by colleagues, family members or friends. Bonsall asked “if he could have three police officers ride with him if he had to patrol,” according to Johnson’s letter. Stating that he wouldn’t subject his family to that risk, Bonsall, in an apparent reference to the Trayvon Martin case, allegedly said, according to Johnson, “can I shoot someone in a hoodie?”

Groom Forgets Bride At Gas Station, Doesn't Notice For Hours [AP] 
German couple's marriage got off to a rocky start when the groom forgot his bride at a highway gas station on the way home from their honeymoon, only noticing she was missing after hours had passed. Police said Friday the couple was heading home to Berlin from France when the man pulled over near the central town of Bad Hersfeld late Thursday to fill up their van. The woman had been sleeping in the back but got up — unbeknownst to the man — to use the toilets and he drove off before she returned. Only after 2 ½ hours on the road did he notice she was gone and called police, who said she was patiently waiting.

Posted in ANR