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November 28, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: Is the Satyam Mess Over?; IRS All Over Kabbalah Centre; PCAOB’s Doty Speaks at Baruch | 05.06.11

Is the Chinese Listing Bubble Going Bust? [CFO Journal]
Suddenly the boom in Chinese listings on U.S. exchanges is looking shaky, and two primary reasons were reinforced in separate developments today. On Wall Street, Renren, dubbed the Chinese Facebook, tanked after its shares debuted at a stratospheric multiple on Wednesday, calling into question the appetite for future Chinese IPOs. Meanwhile, at a New York City financial conference, SEC officials were nearly elbowing each other out of the way to express their concerns about reverse mergers that are allowing Chinese firms to back door their way into U.S. markets.

U.S. Economy Adds 244,000 at 9.0% [NYT]
The United States economy added 244,000 jobs in April after a gain of a revised 221,000 jobs in March, the Department of Labor said on Friday, as the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in April from 8.8 percent in March.

The Grand Illusion: PwC Settles Satyam U.S. Class Action Claims [Forbes]
Oh boy, “The SEC and the PCAOB would not confirm that their enforcement actions regarding the Satyam audit were finished.”

BDO USA Settles Bankest Suit With Former Client Banco Espirito Santo [Bloomberg]
BDO’s statement emailed to Bloomberg: “BDO USA LLP has entered into confidential settlement agreements with Banco Espirito Santo and Barry Mukamal, the bankruptcy trustee of E.S. Bankest LC, pursuant to which the lawsuits against BDO have been resolved,” sounds a lot like what we published yesterday.

The Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles is the focus of an IRS investigation into tax evasion [LAT]
Sources familiar with the investigation said the criminal division of the IRS is looking into whether nonprofit funds were used for the personal enrichment of the Berg family, which has controlled the Kabbalah Centre for more than four decades, a period in which it expanded from one school of a little-known strain of Judaism to a global brand with A-list followers like Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow and assets that may top $260 million.

New PCAOB Chairman Pushes for Audit Overhaul [AT]
“I do not believe that the global audit firm networks themselves pose a systemic risk to our economy,” said Doty. “Initiatives to shrink the global audit firms would likely weaken their ability to audit large, multinational companies that may be systemically important.” He said governments should instead focus on regulation. “To protect investors, governments should regulate such firms, not cripple them,” said Doty. “There’s no reason to think that if there were more major firms, they would be more likely to stand up to their clients.”

U.S. auditor watchdog hopeful of access to China [Reuters]
U.S. audit watchdogs are hopeful of ending a stalemate that has blocked inspections of auditors in China, the head of the audit oversight agency said on Thursday. With more Chinese companies raising capital in the U.S. markets, “I believe Chinese authorities understand they have a real interest in solving our impasse,” James Doty, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said.

Is the Chinese Listing Bubble Going Bust? [CFO Journal]
Suddenly the boom in Chinese listings on U.S. exchanges is looking shaky, and two primary reasons were reinforced in separate developments today. On Wall Street, Renren, dubbed the Chinese Facebook, tanked after its shares debuted at a stratospheric multiple on Wednesday, calling into question the appetite for future Chinese IPOs. Meanwhile, at a New York City financial conference, SEC officials were nearly elbowing each other out of the way to express their concerns about reverse mergers that are allowing Chinese firms to back door their way into U.S. markets.

U.S. Economy Adds 244,000 Jobs in April; Rate at 9.0% [NYT]
The United States economy added 244,000 jobs in April after a gain of a revised 221,000 jobs in March, the Department of Labor said on Friday, as the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in April from 8.8 percent in March.

The Grand Illusion: PwC Settles Satyam U.S. Class Action Claims [Forbes]
Oh boy, “The SEC and the PCAOB would not confirm that their enforcement actions regarding the Satyam audit were finished.”

BDO USA Settles Bankest Suit With Former Client Banco Espirito Santo [Bloomberg]
BDO’s statement emailed to Bloomberg: “BDO USA LLP has entered into confidential settlement agreements with Banco Espirito Santo and Barry Mukamal, the bankruptcy trustee of E.S. Bankest LC, pursuant to which the lawsuits against BDO have been resolved,” sounds a lot like what we published yesterday.

The Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles is the focus of an IRS investigation into tax evasion [LAT]
Sources familiar with the investigation said the criminal division of the IRS is looking into whether nonprofit funds were used for the personal enrichment of the Berg family, which has controlled the Kabbalah Centre for more than four decades, a period in which it expanded from one school of a little-known strain of Judaism to a global brand with A-list followers like Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow and assets that may top $260 million.

New PCAOB Chairman Pushes for Audit Overhaul [AT]
“I do not believe that the global audit firm networks themselves pose a systemic risk to our economy,” said Doty. “Initiatives to shrink the global audit firms would likely weaken their ability to audit large, multinational companies that may be systemically important.” He said governments should instead focus on regulation. “To protect investors, governments should regulate such firms, not cripple them,” said Doty. “There’s no reason to think that if there were more major firms, they would be more likely to stand up to their clients.”

U.S. auditor watchdog hopeful of access to China [Reuters]
U.S. audit watchdogs are hopeful of ending a stalemate that has blocked inspections of auditors in China, the head of the audit oversight agency said on Thursday. With more Chinese companies raising capital in the U.S. markets, “I believe Chinese authorities understand they have a real interest in solving our impasse,” James Doty, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said.

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