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September 27, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: How Gowex Went Down; Observe Your Boss’s Work-Life Balance; IRS Great at Getting Unwanted Attention | 07.11.14

Got ’em, Gotham [The Economist]
The strange case of Gowex: "Jenaro Garcia was an eloquent cheerleader for Gowex, helping to propel the Spanish Wi-Fi firm to European startup stardom. When investors asked detailed financial questions of its founder and boss, however, he would clam up. Short-sellers, who bet against companies by selling borrowed shares, in the hope of buying them back more cheaply later, began to act on this reticence early this year. But the killer blow was a report by an opaque outfit called Gotham City Research, alleging that Gowex had far fewer wireless hotspots than it claimed and that 90% of its sales were bogus. On July 6th, five days after the report’s publication, the firm said it would file for bankruptcy and that Mr García (pictured) had resigned after admitting to fiddling the accounts for at least four years."

Your Boss’s Work-Life Balance Matters as Much as Your Own [HBR]
In other words, if your boss's work-life balance is nonexistent, yours will be too: "Carla Christofferson, a Managing Partner of the law firm O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles is an example of a leader who took this message to heart.  Through 360 feedback, she learned that her own long hours were a primary reason associates were putting in so many hours themselves, and feeling burned out. Only when Christofferson intentionally cut back herself, and talked openly about doing so, did her associates feel free to follow suit."

The root problem at the IRS still isn’t fixed [Vox]
Despite how anyone feels about Lois Lerner and her crashed hard drive, there's another problem being ignored: "[S]omething that shouldn't get lost amidst the focus on Lerner is the root problem: the unclear definition of which groups qualify for 501(c)4 status and which don't. It's the murk of that rule that led to the IRS's scrutiny of both conservative and progressive political groups. A clear law would ensure that individuals like Lerner have less discretion over the process. But there's been a lot more interest among House Republicans in trying to uncover a scandal than in fixing the problem, and since Democrats see little political upside in keeping focus on the IRS, they also haven't made it a priority."

Penny stock CYNK Technology shares halted in premarket trading [CNBC]
No assets? No revenue? No prob…okay, now there might be a problem.

IRS staffer suspended for Obama cheerleading [The Hill]
Just when you thought things couldn't get much worse at the IRS: "The U.S. Office of Special Counsel said that the employee 'repeatedly urged' those calling the IRS’s help lines in 2012 to back the president 'by delivering a chant based on the spelling of the employee’s last name.' That, the counsel’s office said, amounted to a violation of the Hatch Act, which limits the amount of political activity that practically all executive branch employees can engage in both on and off the job. In accepting the 100-day suspension, 'the IRS employee acknowledged that he had used his authority and influence as an IRS customer service representative for a political purpose and did so while at work,' the Office of Special Counsel said in a statement."

Man Fired After Buying Legal Weed in Washington Will Get His Job Back [Newsweek via Gawker]
All's well that ends well: 
"The reason they said they gave me my job back was because their policy says you cannot be under the influence at work, which I was not, and since I officially had the day off, what I did on my time was my time. And they gave me my job back, and even gave me a day’s worth of pay that I missed."

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