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Accounting News Roundup: Romney’s Shifty Tax Goals; The Accidental Accountant-Terrorist; Diversity’s Payoff | 05.03.12

Romney’s Conflicting Tax Goals Make Burden Shift Likely [Bloomberg]
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax plan rests on a set of principles that, taken together, are difficult to reconcile. Romney wants to reduce individual income tax rates by 20 percent, keep preferential rates for capital gains and dividends, broaden the tax base to limit revenue loss, and retain the tax-burden distribution across income groups. Those goals are in conflict and will require that Romney consider limiting or eliminating the tax breaks for charitable deductions and home mortgage interest, said Martin Sullivan, contributing editor at Tax Analysts in Falls Church, Virginia. “As soon as he gets in, he’s going to have to start backpedaling big-time on all of his promises,” Sullivan said. “It’s just not doable under any conceivable, realistic scenario.”

‘The Accidental Terrorist’: a California Accountant’s Coup [TDB, Earlier]
What made an accountant from California try to overthrow the Cambodian government with grenades and anti-tank weapons? 

Chesapeake CEO Issues Apology to Investors [WSJ]
Aubrey McClendon, the embattled chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Corp., apologized to investors on Wednesday for allowing his personal finances to cause what he called distractions. But his contrition did little to comfort shareholders concerned by the strained financial situation the company detailed in a conference call. Some analysts were irate that the company is failing to live up to promises it has made about cutting back its production of natural gas, of which there is now a glut, and of reducing its spending on new energy fields. "Aubrey has some credibility issues with investors," said Scott Hanold, an energy analyst at RBC Capital Markets. "In the past, he has told them I am going to do this—but the plan doesn't quite come to fruition." Mr. Hanold also said he was worried that Chesapeake needed to sell too many of its assets to fund operations.

Is There a Payoff from Top-Team Diversity? [CFO]
Your old white boys club does not impress…or perform, apparently.

It’s Official: Herz Elected to Accounting Hall of Fame [The Summa]

‘The Scream’ Is Auctioned for a Record $119.9 Million [NYT]
As soon as the hammer fell, rumors began circulating about who the buyer could be. Among the names floated were the financier Leonard Blavatnik, the Microsoft tycoon Paul Allen and members of the Qatari royal family. While some were surprised at the price, one Munch enthusiast was not: “It’s nice to see the centrality of Norway in the mainstream of western culture,” said Ivor Braka, a London dealer. “The scream is more than a painting, it’s a symbol of psychology as it anticipates the 20th-century traumas of mankind.”

Why the urge to pee ruins sleep for some [MSNBC]
For most people, sleep is undisturbed by the need to pee, because our bladders seem to hold more urine over night. But just how this happens, and why some people are unable to do this, has remained a mystery until now. New research shows that the body's internal clock controls the production of a key protein that helps regulate the bladder's capacity to hold urine before needing to empty. The findings may someday yield new therapies to help children who involuntarily wet the bed or adults who frequently wake up at night to urinate, researchers said.

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