September 28, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: Romney’s Tax (or Penalty?) Conundrum; Olympus Ordered to Pay Back Taxes; The Future of IFRS Post-Kroeker | 07.05.12

Rate Scandal Set to Spread [WSJ]
A day after abruptly resigning amid a mushrooming scandal over interest-rate manipulation, former Barclays PLC chief Robert Diamond on Wednesday was assailed by British lawmakers for the bank's actions, in a preview of the scrutiny likely to lie ahead for other big lenders that are under investigation. Barclays last week agreed to pay $453 million to settle U.S. and British authorities' allegations that the British bank tried to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, which is the benchmark for interest rates on trillions of dollars of loans to individuals and businesses around the world.

Lie More, as a Business Model [Economix/NYT]
On Monday, Robert E. Diamond Jr., the chief executive of Barclays, one of the largest banks in the world, was supposedly the indispensable man, with his supporters contending that he was the only person who could see the global megabank through a growing scandal. On Tuesday, Mr. Diamond resigned, and the stock market barely blinked. In fact, Barclays stock was up three-tenths of 1 percent. As Charles de Gaulle supposedly remarked, “The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.”
 
Romney's Tax Confusion [WSJ]

If Mitt Romney loses his run for the White House, a turning point will have been his decision Monday to absolve President Obama of raising taxes on the middle class. He is managing to turn the only possible silver lining in Chief Justice John Roberts's ObamaCare salvage operation—that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty is really a tax—into a second political defeat. Appearing on MSNBC, close Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom was asked by host Chuck Todd if Mr. Romney "agrees with the president" and "believes that you shouldn't call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?" "That's correct," Mr. Fehrnstrom replied, before attempting some hapless spin suggesting that Mr. Obama must be "held accountable" for his own "contradictory" statements on whether it is a penalty or tax. Predictably, the Obama campaign and the media blew past Mr. Fehrnstrom's point, jumped on the tax-policy concession, and declared the health-care tax debate closed.

San Diego Accidentally Set Off All Its Fourth Of July Fireworks at Once [AW]
Folks in San Diego witnessed what was either the worst Fourth of July fireworks celebration — or the absolute best — when a technical malfunction caused all of their pyrotechnics to go off at the same time. The annual Big Bay Boom extravaganza began and ended in spectacular fashion when an inadvertent signal set off the explosions about five minutes early and caused the entire 18 minute show to take place in about 15 seconds. Confused spectators waited around for what they thought was going to be the rest of the show, but were sent home and told the show (that was supposed to be choreographed to music) was canceled. 

Olympus ordered to pay back £40m in taxes [Accountancy Age]
Tokyo's regional taxation bureau has ordered Olympus to pay back about ¥5bn (£40m) that it owes in back taxes and penalties from its 2008 purchase of British medical equipment maker Gyrus Group. The bureau told Olympus to pay the liability, which is linked to a ¥15bn advisory fee the company claimed it received in relation to the acquisition of Gyrus.

 
What the Chief Accountant's Resignation Means for the Future of IFRS in the U.S. [Accounting Onion]
Even the most ardent IFRS supporter will recognize that the timing of Mr. Kroeker's resignation leaves little doubt as to the reason: that he should be spared the final indignity of the SEC's inevitable retreat from IFRS adoption. It was the idée fixe of his three-year tenure, but it quickly devolved into an exercise in damage control with as little as could be said about IFRS from the SEC, the better. Sad to say, but failed IFRS convergence is Mr. Kroeker's only legacy.

Joey Chestnut Downs 68 Hot Dogs To Win Sixth Straight Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest [Deadspin]
And you think your meat sweats are bad.

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