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Accounting News Roundup: Romney Insists ‘Nothing hidden’ in Taxes; White Powder Scare at Andover IRS Office; Fortress Balance Sheets | 07.10.12

Mitt Romney: 'Nothing hidden' in taxes [USAT]
Mitt Romney insists there is "nothing hidden" in his taxes, rebuffing increasing calls from President Obama and other Democrats to release more information about his income and bank accounts. In an interview with O. Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa, Romney said his finances are above-board and held in a blind trust managed by a trustee. "I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are," Romney said in the radio interview taped yesterday. "That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there."

Barclays finance chief jumps ship to Apollo [Reuters]

Apollo Global Management LLC said on Monday it appointed Martin Kelly, a top financial controller at Barclays Plc, the British bank tainted with an interest rate rigging scandal, as its next chief financial officer. Kelly, 44, will succeed 54-year-old Gene Donnelly, who has resigned to pursue other interests, as Apollo CFO no later than October 1, the private equity firm said in a statement. Donnelly will serve as CFO until mid-August and as senior advisor to Apollo until the end of the year, the firm added. "We are confident that (Kelly's) leadership, finance and accounting experience will benefit Apollo and its employees and investors as we continue to diversify and grow our business on a global scale," Apollo's CEO Leon Black said in a statement.

IRS locks down after finding suspicious white powder [ET]
ANDOVER — The mail processing room at the Internal Revenue Service building on Lowell Street was placed in lock down yesterday morning after a white powdery substance was reported being released from an envelope. A hazardous materials team was requested to respond to the building at 310 Lowell St. shortly after 10:30 a.m. The 30 employees working the processing room at the time were placed in isolation, according to a press release from the fire department.

US broker PFGBest freezes funds after founder's suicide attempt [Reuters]

Independent U.S. futures broker PFGBest said it had effectively frozen customer accounts on Monday after a suicide attempt by the company's founder set off an investigation into possible "accounting irregularities." In a dramatic turn that may trigger a new round of anxiety over the stability of the brokerage industry less than a year after the collapse of much larger MF Global, the Cedar Falls, Iowa-based firm told customers that they would be limited to liquidating open positions until further notice. The disclosure came hours after owner Russell R. Wasendorf Sr, a 40-year veteran of commodity markets, was found in his car near the company's new headquarters, having apparently attempted to commit suicide. He is in critical condition at the University of Iowa Hospitals, according to local news reports.

“Fortress Balance Sheets” Grow Stronger: Survey [CFO]
While the outlook for corporate earnings may be sketchy, financial professionals are decidedly more confident about their ability to boost cash flow in the next 12 months. But they’re not so confident that they are willing to tap their "fortress balance sheets" — assets aimed at withstanding severe financial shocks — or risk investing their cash in higher-yielding investment vehicles. The 2012 edition of the Association for Financial Professionals’ Liquidity Survey, released Tuesday, found that U.S. companies’ desire for safety and liquidity, at least by the measure of the cash cushions they keep, is not going away. In fact, in some ways companies are keeping an even tighter rein on the cash their businesses generate. Companies continue to amass piles of cash, according to the AFP poll. Forty-one percent of the 391 respondents to AFP’s survey, conducted in May, said their companies held larger cash balances during the first quarter of 2012 than a year earlier.

Today in Awful Ideas: Day Trading With Your Retirement Fund [Gawker]
Doesn't this swell? "An adjunct professor at a third-tier school hawking an overpriced get-rich-quick scheme with clever slogans? Don't miss this opportunity to prove that you are the exception to the merciless rule of mathematics, middle class almost-retirees!"
Woman Allegedly Attacks Husband With Ice Cream [HP]

[Dawn Elaine] Barran spotted her husband and "his current girlfriend" inside a Walgreen's store on July 1, according to the arrest affidavit. She and her husband began to argue over the other woman before Barran picked up a bag of ice cream, just purchased by her husband, and hit him in the head with it, police say. The affidavit states that the husband and his alleged girlfriend tried to leave the store, Barran followed them, hitting the man with her fist and car keys.


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