We're calling it a half-day here and suggest to anyone who's actually working today to do the same. We'll be off tomorrow and Friday, returning Monday. If you have an Open Items emergency, we'll do our best to get you up and email us if you get called in to work during your tryptophan nap or some other tragedy occurs.
China ‘fines’ Microsoft $140m for tax evasion [FT]
Although they disagree on whether it was a fine or not, MSFT dug through it's couch to hand over $140m: "Microsoft’s fortunes in China have been dented after the Chinese government charged it $140m in back taxes and interest in a rare case concerning cross-border tax evasion in the country. A report in Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, did not name Microsoft but said that a company whose name begins with “M” and with financial details identical to those of Microsoft had been penalised for transfer pricing."
Luxembourg Tax Affair Puts Focus on Juncker’s Role Ahead of Confidence Vote [WSJ]
It's not him, it's the system! " 'The tax administration doesn’t have to report to the finance minister,' Mr. Juncker said this month after it emerged that Luxembourg allowed some international companies to pay almost no taxes during his nearly two decades as prime minister and finance minister. 'They are acting on an autonomous basis.' "
Grant Thornton picks new Philadelphia leader [PBJ]
Sean Denham succeeds Wayne Kaplan.
Forbes Wins Key Ruling in Libel Suit by Saudi Prince [Forbes]
This included an article by Francine McKenna that details Prince Alwaleed's King Holdings firing of EY when the firm questioned the valuation of the company.
Accounting firms BDO and McGladrey hit a growth spurt [Crain's]
Wayne Berson knows BDO is catching up to McGladrey after its latest acquisitions of SS&G and UHY Texas. "Last year SS&G had $90 million in revenue, and the acquisition brought 375 employees into BDO's fold. UHY had $193 million in revenue in 2013, and the Houston and Dallas offices employed about 450 people. By contrast, neither Cole & Reed nor Battelle Rippe Kingston are listed among the top 100 firms. The two acquisitions combined bring about 220 employees to McGladrey, according to a statement from the firm and news reports. 'That gives us the size and credibility to go out and target even larger clients,' Berson says. 'McGladrey should look over its shoulder.' "
How to Survive Your Family's Thanksgiving Arguments [Vox]
Everything from the Midterm Elections to football to Ferguson to Immigration to The Hunger Games to Bill Cosby. You're welcome. And good luck.