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Accounting News Roundup: The Big 4 and Mortgage Fraud; Minnesota Shutdown; New PwC OMP in KC | 07.01.11

Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as Near Collapse [NYT]
The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials. Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself. Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said.

They’re Everywhere! Big Four Auditors Mixed Up In Mortgage Fraud [Forbes]
Francince McKenna sees “complicit auditors.”

Geithner Exit Would Force Obama to Rebuild [Bloomberg]
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s potential departure from the administration would force President Barack Obama to assemble a new economic team as he enters a re-election campaign that’s likely to be dominated by voter concern over jobs. Geithner has told Obama that he’s considering leaving the administration after the president reaches an agreement with Congress to raise the national debt limit, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Bill Clinton Backs Tax Holiday on Foreign Profits, With Caveats [Bloomberg]
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton endorsed a tax holiday on repatriating offshore profits with conditions, taking a position contrary to the Obama administration. “I favor it under certain circumstances,” Clinton said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Al Hunt yesterday in Chicago. He suggested an approach that would give companies a 20 percent tax rate on repatriated profits, which could be reduced to 10 percent if they “reinvest it in increasing employment in America.”

H-P Girds for iPad Battle [WSJ]
H-P’s device, the TouchPad, comes more than a year after Apple started selling its iPad. In that time, Apple has sold more than 25 million tablets and added nearly $100 billion in market capitalization. H-P, meanwhile, has lost $50 billion. H-P is planning a marketing blitz for the TouchPad. But it faces an uphill battle in the fast-growing tablet market, which is dominated by the iPad and crowded with devices from Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. to BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. “We know we’re the fifth man in a four-man race,” said Richard Kerris, the H-P executive in charge of developer relations.

Minnesota government shuts down [CNN]
A budget stalemate forced a virtual full shut down of the Minnesota government on Friday and left only a limited array of state services in operation over the busy holiday weekend. Visitors won’t be able to go to the state parks or the zoo, and travelers will find the highway rest stops shuttered. Road construction projects will cease, as will licensing for teachers and businesses.

Accounting woes threaten Chinese listings in Singapore [Reuters]
The string of blow-ups at overseas-listed Chinese companies could derail Singapore Exchange’s efforts to revive investor confidence and dent its status as a major trading hub for mainland issues. The bourse’s long-running charm offensive in China means Chinese stocks, known in the city-state as S-chips, now make up around 20 percent of its 779 listed companies, up sharply from April 2004 when there were just 41 mainland firms listed on the exchange. But a rash of accounting problems that broke this year, reminiscent of a previous wave in 2008 in Singapore, threatens to undermine SGX’s strategy as investor interest fades.

PricewaterhouseCoopers names new managing partner in Kansas City [KCBJ]
It’s New Year’s Day at PwC (E&Y too) and John Martin takes over in Kansas City from James Gegg. Well, sort of. The entire firm has the day off.

Posted in ANR