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Accounting News Roundup: Short Selling Bans in Europe; Zynga’s Material Weakness; Redefining ‘Tax Reform’ | 08.12.11

Short Selling of Stocks Banned in France, Spain [Bloomberg]
France, Spain, Italy and Belgium imposed bans on short-selling to stabilize markets after European banks including Societe Generale (GLE) SA hit their lowest level since the credit crisis. “While short-selling can be a valid trading strategy, when used in combination with spreading false market rumors this is clearly abusive,” the European Securities and Markets Authority, which coordinates the work of national regulators in the 27-nation European Union, said in a statement after talks ended late yesterday. National regulators will impose the bans “to restrict the benefits that can be achieved from spreading false rumors or to achieve a regulatory level playing field.”

SEC makes S&P downgrade inquiries [FT]
The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s to disclose who within its ranks knew of its decision to downgrade US debt before it was announced last week, as part of a preliminary look into potential insider trading, people familiar with the matter say. The inquiry was made by the SEC’s examination staff, which has oversight of credit rating firms, one person familiar with the matter said. The exam staff can make referrals to the SEC’s enforcement division if it believes any laws have been violated, but the inquiry might not result in a referral.

Happy Cost of Government Day! You Worked for It [WSJ]
Grover Norquist continues his ubiquitousness.

‘Angry Birds’ Maker Seeks Funds at $1.2B Valuation [Bloomberg]
Rovio may use any new funds to fuel its expansion. The company plans to make an “Angry Birds” movie and open offices outside of Finland, and is seeking to capitalize on the popularity of its brand in countries such as China, where it aims to sell stuffed animals and clothing in 200 retail stores.

Zynga Restates Sales on Accounting Change [Bloomberg]
Zynga Inc., the online game developer that is planning an initial public offering, restated first-quarter results after finding a “material weakness” related to financial reporting. As a result of the restatement, total sales increased by $7.5 million in the three months that ended March 31 to $243 million, while deferred revenue decreased by the same amount, San Francisco-based Zynga said today in a regulatory filing. The provision for taxes increased by $2.5 million, Zynga said.

John Zamora, Deloitte’s Chief Diversity Officer, Honored as “Executive of the Year” by Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting [Deloitte]
“A diverse workforce is vital to successfully serve clients today,” said Joe Echevarria, chief executive officer, Deloitte LLP and 2007 “Executive of the Year” recipient. “As a Hispanic myself, I am proud to say diversity and inclusion has long been part of Deloitte’s culture. There’s no question that diversity of thought brings the best ideas and solutions to our clients. John is a major factor in our efforts, and continues to define and drive a concise diversity strategy that ties directly — and strategically — to Deloitte’s business objectives. I would like to congratulate John and the whole Deloitte organization, as this is truly a recognition of the efforts of many.”

Grassley Wants Obama to Redefine ‘Tax Reform’ [AT]
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has written a letter to President Obama disagreeing with the president’s definition of the term “tax reform.” In a speech Monday, Obama remarked on the need to combine the spending cuts included in the debt ceiling deal with “tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share.” However, Grassley pointed out that Obama did not mention lowering tax rates, broadening the tax base, or transitioning to a territorial tax system.

Time To Stop Talking About Those ‘Bush Tax Cuts’ []
To listen to some, all our fiscal and economic woes flow from the “Bush tax cuts.” Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t.

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