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Accounting News Roundup: Toying with the Fiscal Cliff; California Feels Facebook’s Pain; More Shallow Tax Legislation | 08.03.12

Economy Adds 163,000 Jobs [WSJ]
U.S. payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 163,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday, but the unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, ticked up one-tenth of a percent to 8.3%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a gain of 95,000 in payrolls and an 8.2% jobless rate.

Geithner meets Murray amid fears lawmaker might not to stop fiscal cliff [The Hill]
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with Sen. Patty Murray Thursday amid increased fears in Washington that Congress might decide not to act to prevent the nation from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. Murray, (Wash.), the Democratic co-chair of the 2011 deficit supercommittee, recently said that Democrats would allow all of the Bush tax rates to expire and then seek to renew lower rates for the middle class, unless Republicans agree to raise taxes on the nation’s highest income earners. 

Facebook slide wipes billions off windfall [FT]
On paper, Facebook’s employees owned stock worth nearly $20bn at the time of the IPO, though most of those shares can only be sold when restrictions are lifted in November. Similar six-month limits also prevent employees at other recently floated internet companies from selling out early. As a result, California’s tax take from the Facebook IPO this year and next could be “hundreds of millions of dollars” less than the $1.5bn it had expected, the state’s Legislative Analysts’ Office warned this week. The outcome will depend on the company’s share price later this year.

Peregrine Financial Group CFO Cuypers Subpoenaed -Sources [DJ]

The chief financial officer of Peregrine Financial Group Inc. has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury looking into the events leading up to the brokerage firm's July 10 collapse, according to people familiar with the matter. Brenda Cuypers is expected to appear before the grand jury in mid-August, the people said. Peregrine's president and chief operating officer, Russell Wasendorf Jr., has received a similar subpoena, according to a person close to the situation. Investigators are examining an alleged 20-year fraud perpetrated by Russell Wasendorf Sr., the founder and chief executive of Peregrine, which came to light after the elder Mr. Wasendorf attempted suicide near the firm's Cedar Falls, Iowa, headquarters July 9.

Peoria's Schock proposes tax breaks for Olympic medalists [CT]
Congressman Aaron Shcok will see your pointless legislation, Marco Rubio.

FASB Floats Early Ideas on Private Company Accounting [CW]
The “invitation to comment” published by FASB maps out six critical issues that differentiate private companies from public companies, leading to the conclusion that accounting requirements for private companies should differ as a result. FASB says the type and number of users for financial statements are different for private companies than public companies, and they have more direct access to management to ask questions. Private companies have different investment strategies, and different ownership and capital structures. They have thinner resources than public companies to manage the accounting function, and as a result it takes them longer to get up to speed on new accounting pronouncements.

IRS leader's exit worries officials amid tax uncertainty [Reuters]
Doug Shulman, who became IRS commissioner in 2008 under President George W. Bush, has said he is not interested in another five-year term. His term ends in November. If he were to leave then, the IRS would likely have a temporary commissioner in charge just as Congress faces historic tax decisions following the November 6 general elections and as the agency readies for the upcoming 2013 tax filing season. The IRS faces "its most difficult filing season in decades next year," said Mark Everson, a former IRS commissioner, at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing. "The looming change in leadership at the agency does further compound the challenges," he told Reuters.

Grant Thornton LLP admits 27 new partners and principals to the firm [GT]
Yes, we know.
Missile Defense Staff Warned To Stop Surfing Porn Sites [Bloomberg]

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency warned its employees and contractors last week to stop using their government computers to surf the Internet for pornographic sites, according to the agency’s executive director. In a one-page memo, Executive Director John James Jr. wrote that in recent months government employees and contractors were detected “engaging in inappropriate use of the MDA network.” “Specifically, there have been instances of employees and contractors accessing websites, or transmitting messages, containing pornographic or sexually explicit images,” James wrote in the July 27 memo obtained by Bloomberg News.


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