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Accounting News Roundup: The Untouchable MID; KPMG’s London Migration Almost Complete; Saying ‘No’ to Say-on-Pay | 08.06.13

The Sacrosanct Mortgage Interest Deduction [Economix/NYT]
While the rising percentage of Americans owning a home has paralleled the broadening of the income tax, there is surprisingly little hard evidence that the mortgage interest deduction has encouraged home ownership. The Harvard economists Edward L. Glaeser and Jesse M. Shapiro have found that it has only a trivial impact. A major reason is that the deduction has long been capitalized into the prices of homes. That is, home prices are higher than they would be without the deduction. Thus to the extent that the deduction encourages home ownership, it is exactly offset by the extent to which high prices discourage home ownership.

KPMG to beef up Canary Wharf presence [Accountancy Age]
KPMG is to move from its City office on Salisbury Square to 30 North Colonnade once its existing lease expires in 2015. The move will see around 1,100 of the Big Four firm's staff relocate and work more closely with their 5,000 colleagues based at its adjoining headquarters at 15 Canada Square.

Now 58 Say-on-Pay Failures This Year [Corporate Counsel]
Recent companies where measures failed: McKesson, VeriFone, and Jos. A. Bank.

Grant Thornton probed over auditing of Nichols [LES]
The FRC is investigating whether GT was independent during its audit of the Vimto and Sunkist maker.

Here's Why I Think Jeff Bezos Bought The Washington Post [Henry Blodget/BI]
I'd guess that Jeff Bezos thinks that owning the Washington Post will be fun, interesting, and cool. And my guess is that, if that is all it ever turns out to be, Jeff Bezos will be fine with that. This is a man who invests in rockets and atomic clocks, after all. He doesn't necessarily make these investments for the money. Or bragging rights. Or strategic synergies.

Many Can't Pay Student Loans [WSJ]
Just about four in 10 borrowers with direct federal student loans are paying them back, according to a report released Monday that offers the first comprehensive snapshot of the program since the government created it in 2010. […] Excluding borrowers who don't yet have to make payments because they are still in school or within the grace period, more than a fifth—about 22%—are in default or forbearance, a program that allows borrowers to postpone payments for a period, typically for financial reasons.

Luxury toilet users warned of hardware flaw [BBC]
The toilet uses bluetooth to receive instructions via the app, but the Pin code for every model is hardwired to be four zeros (0000), meaning that it cannot be reset and can be activated by any phone with the My Satis app, a report by Trustwave's Spiderlabs information security experts reveals. "An attacker could simply download the My Satis application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner," it says in its report. "Attackers could [also] cause the unit to unexpectedly open/close the lid, activate bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to [the] user."


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