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Accounting News Roundup: Occupy Out (For Now); Olympus Smelled Funny in the 90s; PwC Goes Sailing | 11.15.11

Police Clear Zuccotti Park of Protesters [NYT]
Hundreds of police officers early Tuesday cleared the park in Lower Manhattan that had been the nexus of the Occupy Wall Street movement, arresting dozens of people there after warning that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” but that demonstrators who did not leave would face arrest.

Olympus accounting tricks queried back in 1990s [Reuters]
An investment banker raised concerns about dubious accounting at Japan’s disgraced Olympus Corp as long ago as the 1990s, after he discovered it was using Bermuda-based funds to “invent” assets and patch up its balance sheet, he told Reuters. The banker’s concerns, which he says were discussed inside Wall Street bank PaineWebber, his employer at the time and the arranger of Bermuda schemes for Olympus, is one of the earliest red flags known to have been raised over the Japanese company’s accounting irregularities, which continued for two more decades. “The Japanese accounting regiment at that time was very strange,” said the banker, explaining he had raised questions because Olympus was exploiting a loophole in accounting rules that mislead investors about its real financial health.

U.S.-listed China firms welcome to come home [Reuters]
Chinese firms listed in the United States would be welcomed home, a senior Shanghai Stock Exchange official said, chiding the main U.S. auditor watchdog and other American institutions for having politicized company accounting issues. Zhou Qinye, the exchange’s vice general manager, said while only a few firms have real accounting issues, many overseas investors are short-selling Chinese companies for profit. “The current situation is the result of some institutions seeking to politicize the matter, and it’s difficult to predict where things are heading,” Zhou told a conference, referring to a spat between U.S. and Chinese regulators over cross-border inspection of audit firms.

Hire a vet, fire someone else [Tax Update]
Joe Kristan shows why wrapping your tax policy with the flag is dumb.

Overstock Abandons [SA]
The shine on the trophy hasn’t even faded!

Timing Questions Emerge on MF Global Cash [WSJ]
Hundreds of millions of dollars might have gone missing from customer accounts at MF Global Holdings Ltd. as far back as four days before the securities firm filed for bankruptcy protection, people familiar with the situation said Monday. The possibility of a shortfall in customer funds on Oct. 27 suggests problems might have emerged sooner than MF Global officials initially indicated to regulators and exchange operator CME Group Inc.

PwC gets America’s Cup deal [SFBT]
A less prestigious firm simply wouldn’t be acceptable for an event that Larry Ellison is obsessed with.

Posted in ANR