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Accounting News Roundup: Leases on Balance Sheets; Beer Money; FutureSelect Wants EY to Pay $112M for Madoff | 11.11.15

Coming to a Balance Sheet Near You: $2 Trillion in Leases [WSJ]
Lease accounting has more or less been the same for nearly 40 years. Ten years ago, accounting rulemakers decided it was time for an upgrade. Today, it is finally going to happen:

Within a few years, companies may have to add to their books the cost of many leases for real estate, aircraft and other items that aren’t already carried there. U.S. rule makers are set to vote Wednesday on whether to approve in principle long-awaited new rules requiring companies to make that addition, though the move wouldn’t take effect until at least 2018.

Alright, it'll be 3 more years before all those leases end up on balance sheets, but the vote is a pretty big deal. Courtesy of Emily Chasan, here is the FASB's meeting handout. It says that the new rules will, "Clarify the definition of a lease," as well as "Result  in  a  more  faithful  reflection  of  a  lessee’s  rights  and  obligations arising from leases," and, "Result in fewer opportunities for entities to structure leasing transactions to achieve a particular accounting outcome on the balance sheet," among other benefits.

The battle over lease accounting has been pretty fierce with companies like AT&T and Delta expressing criticism, as well as the US Chamber of Commerce (of course) which went so far to "[sponsor] a study contending that proposed lease-accounting changes could lead to major job losses."

The Chamber and others finally backed off because the FASB was "responsive to their concerns."

AB InBev Gets SABMiller for $107 Billion as U.S. Deal Agreed [Bloomberg]
The new, yet-to-be-named MEGABREW company will be the largest consumer products company in the world with profits of $25 billion. The cash portion of the deal is being financed, in part, by a $75 billion loan. To avoid a major regulatory entanglement here in the US, the deal requires Molson Coors to buy Miller's 58% stake in MillerCoors for $12 billion. 

E&Y Should Pay $112M For Madoff Loss, Jury Told [Law360 (Paywall)]
FutureSelect Portfolio Management and their auditor slayer, Steven Thomas, are still making their case to a Seattle jury.

EY or PwC in San Jose Office? [Open Items]
Do you know the way?

In other news:

  • The manager of Sequoia Fund talked to Philidor employees about Valeant. [WSJ]
  • New York tells daily fantasy sports sites to stop taking bets. [AP]
  • There’s nothing Christian about fretting over Starbucks cups [Quartz]
  • Philosophers make more than welders. [Slate]
  • Get stronger WiFi passwords, GOP. [The Verge]