The scandal at the Vatican bank [FT]
The Financial Times reports after an 11-month investigation: "On June 28 this year, Italian police arrested a silver-haired priest, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, in Rome. The cleric, nicknamed Monsignor Cinquecento after the €500 bills he habitually carried around with him, was charged with fraud and corruption, together with a former secret service agent and a financial broker. All three were suspected of attempting to smuggle €20m by private plane across the border from Switzerland. Prosecutors alleged that the priest, a former banker, was using the Institute for Religious Works – the formal name for the Vatican’s bank – to move money for businessmen based in the Naples region, widely regarded in Italy as a haven of organised crime. Worse still, Scarano (who, together with the other men, has denied any wrongdoing) had until only a month earlier been head of the accounting department at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the treasury of the Vatican."
Deloitte gets Marks & Spencer; KPMG takes Berkeley in more auditor musical chairs in the UK.
All the cool kids will be there:
— Adrienne Gonzalez (@adrigonzo) December 9, 2013
Billions of Tax Dollars Later, No New Jobs for New York [Tax Analysts]
David Cay Johnston writes that despite $1.7 in job creating incentives for New York businesses, employment has actually gone down 2% in the state since 2005. "Think of it this way: Over nine years, the state of New York gave businesses roughly $10 billion, or almost $1,400 from each household, in a jobs program that eliminated 175,000 jobs at an average cost of $57,000.
PCAOB Calls on Firms to Clean Up Internal Reviews [CW]
The PCAOB says audit firms are not "executing" the requirements of Auditing Standard No. 7, "including in holding partners accountable for work reviewing engagements." Then there's this: "Inspections staff concluded that 39 percent of the 111 deficient audits found among seven large domestic firms contained problems that should have been spotted in the engagement quality review."
Probably the best line in this story: "He got to PAY just to make it today."
This could explain all the identity theft in Florida: "A Fort Pierce man thought someone put a voodoo curse on him, telling police he wanted it documented in case he experienced 'ill effects from the voodoo' in the future, according to a recently released report. The 35-year-old man on Nov. 17 told Fort Pierce police he thought 'others in the Haitian community had turned against him and placed a voodoo curse on him,' a police report states. The man said he thought the curse was designed to glean his personal information. He suspected the curse had been in place for about a year, though indicated he hadn't experienced any identity theft type issues.