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Accounting News Roundup: Obama’s Speech; Thankful Fraudsters; Sandbags for the Email Flood | 09.09.11

Obama’s Bid to Spur Growth [WSJ]
President Barack Obama called on Congress Thursday to pass a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts to boost economic growth, in what might be the White House’s last chance to revive its political fortunes before the 2012 campaign kicks into high gear. More than half of Mr. Obama’s plan consists of payroll-tax cuts for employees and employers—an idea the White House hopes will appeal enough to Republican lawmakers—and is the policy that could have the best chance to pass.

Small Business Is Focus of Tax Cuts [WSJ]
[W]hile the payroll-tax cuts figure to appeal to Republican lawmakers, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke favorably about the idea Thursday, the cuts face some resistance. Many Republicans and even some small-business advocates are opposed to more temporary tax breaks. Some liberal Democrats are nervous about reducing the taxes that are paid to support Social Security, even though the administration promises its plan would have no impact on the program.

New Regulators for Investment Advisers Proposed in U.S. House [Bloomberg]
One or more self-regulatory organizations would oversee U.S.-registered retail investment advisers under a draft bill by Representative Spencer Bachus, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. A Financial Services subcommittee is scheduled to hold a Sept. 13 hearing on investment adviser oversight. The meeting follows a Securities and Exchange Commission report suggesting a self-regulatory organization as one option for fixing the SEC’s inability to inspect investment advisers at a sufficient pace. Critics of the SEC have blamed the agency for failing to uncover investment frauds including the Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff.

Settlement Said to Be Near for Fannie and Freddie [DealBook]
Regulators are nearing a settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over whether the mortgage finance giants adequately disclosed their exposure to risky subprime loans, bringing to a close a three-year investigation. The proposed agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the terms being discussed, would include no monetary penalty or admission of fraud, according to several people briefed on the case. But a settlement would represent the most significant acknowledgement yet by the mortgage companies that they played a central role in the housing boom and bust.

Why White-Collar Criminals Should Thank President Obama and Congressional Republicans [WCF]
Reports a reformed white-collar criminal.

Friday is D-Day to voluntarily tell the IRS about your offshore assets [Reuters]
A friendly reminder.

U.S. Sees ‘Credible’ 9/11 Terror Threat [WSJ]
The U.S. has received specific and “credible” intelligence that al Qaeda militants in Pakistan may be pursuing a plot to carry out car or truck bombings in Washington and New York City, timed with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said. U.S. officials said they received the intelligence within the last 48 hours, and that they are taking it seriously because of its proximity to the 9/11 anniversary. As one sign of the importance with which it is being handled, President Barack Obama was briefed on the threat multiple times on Thursday, and directed U.S. intelligence officials to “take all necessary steps to ensure vigilance,” a White House official said.

5 Easy Steps to Stanch the E-Mail Flood [NYT]
Step 1: Admit that you have a problem.

Rick Santelli to Tom Friedman: ‘You’re idiotic’ [TDC]
The discourse remains civil.

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