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Accounting News Roundup: Pension Accounting Switcheroo; Baucus: Pass-throughs ‘not been helpful’ to Economy; Most Americans Oppose Shutdown | 03.09.11

Rewriting Pension History [WSJ]
Some big companies are changing how they account for their pension plans in a way that could make their earnings look better in coming years. AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. recently ended a longstanding practice in which they “smooth” large gains and losses generated by pension assets into their financial results over a period of years. From now on, these companies will count all such gains and losses in the same year they are incurred.

Cracking the Glass Ceiling From Both Sides [FINS]
Women looking to make it to the C-suite stand a better chance if they can get a boost from other women, according to a new study from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The study shows that companies with more women on their boards of directors have a greater share of women in top executive positions.

Baucus skeptical of businesses taxed as individuals [The Hill]
“I think the development of pass-throughs has not been helpful to the American economy,” Baucus said after a hearing on tax reform in which witnesses also questioned that arrangement. “I don’t know the solution,” the senator added, “but I think the problem of pass-throughs is concerning.”

BofA CFO: To Cut Long-Term Debt To Near $300B In 2013 From $448B [Dow Jones]
Bank of America Corp. plans on trimming its long-term debt by a further third over the next three years, Chief Financial Officer Charles Noski said, continuing the bank’s goal of shrinking itself to handle new capital ratio requirements. Noski said, in conjunction with slashing long-term debt, the bank plans to keep its total asset level relatively stable through 2013. It will continue to run off assets it doesn’t think are core to its business, with only “modest” increases predicted in certain commercial and consumer loans.

Tchenguizes arrested in Kaupthing probe [FT]
Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz, among the UK’s highest-profile entrepreneurs, have been arrested as part of an investigation into the collapse of Kaupthing, the Icelandic investment bank. Enforcement officers from the Serious Fraud Office and the City of London police made the arrests at about 5.30am on Wednesday, while offices at Rotch Property, the investment vehicle that controls the brothers’ property portfolio, have also been raided.

Americans Oppose Government Shutdown, Fault Cuts in Poll [Bloomberg]
Almost 8 in 10 people say Republicans and Democrats should reach a compromise on a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit to keep the government running, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. At the same time, lopsided margins oppose cuts to Medicare, education, environmental protection, medical research and community-renewal programs.

Dynegy Warns It Likely Won’t Be Able To Comply With Debt Covenants [Dow Jones]
Dynegy Inc.’s auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, expressed substantial doubt that the company will be able to continue as a going concern, as the power producer said it is likely that it won’t be able to comply with some debt covenants in 2011.

How to Be the Ultimate Facebook Troll [Gizmodo]
Because if strange people are going to friend you, you might as well fuck with them.

Hearing set on Koch lawsuit over Internet hoax [AP]
A federal judge will hear arguments next month on whether to quash subpoenas filed by Koch Industries seeking the identities of the environmental pranksters behind a media hoax and bogus website. Wichita-based Koch sued an anonymous group behind a bogus website and fake new release issued in December that falsely announced the company was going to fund more environmentally friendly groups.

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