Accounting, Finance Staffs Happy to Stay Put [CFO]
The relative security this group feels should be important news to CFOs in managing their staffs, says Steve McMahan, executive vice president of Randstad U.S. Professionals. “I don’t think as a CFO you can ever lose your vigilance in holding on to your best people,” he says. In this economy, he notes, mistakes can be made in underestimating the volatility of the workforce because there is some economic softening.
The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants released for public exposure on Wednesday new requirements that address a professional accountant’s responsibilities regarding the disclosure of suspected illegal acts committed by a client or employer. The proposals describe the circumstances in which a professional accountant is required or expected to breach confidentiality, one of the five fundamental principles in the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, and disclose the act to an appropriate authority.
The central bank is planning to sell $3.4 billion in toxic mortgage debt today that it inherited four years ago when it bailed out AIG, once the world’s largest insurer. The assets are the last batch from its Maiden Lane III LLC portfolio created to purchase $62.1 billion of collateralized debt obligations tied to risky residential- and commercial-mortgage securities that helped sink AIG when property markets tumbled. Demand for subprime mortgage debt and CDOs has jumped this year as the housing recovery strengthened and the Fed extended programs to keep borrowing costs low. AIG has received more than $6 billion in proceeds through July from the auctions and may get another $1.9 billion this month, helping Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche, 68, buy back shares from majority owner the U.S. Treasury Department. The insurer is now entitled to receive one-third of the proceeds from sales since the central bank fully recovered its investment in June and AIG’s equity contribution was repaid last month.
Peregrine Probe Still Focuses on CEO [WSJ]
U.S. government investigators probing alleged fraud at Peregrine Financial Group Inc. remain focused on the role of its chief executive and currently aren't targeting other top officials, according to people familiar with the situation. Founder and CEO Russell Wasendorf Sr. last week pleaded not guilty to 31 charges of misleading regulators in the run-up to the collapse of the futures and currency brokerage in July. Russell Wasendorf Jr., Peregrine's president and the son of its CEO, was notified last week by the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Iowa that he wasn't a target of the criminal investigation into the firm, according to Nick Iavarone, an attorney who is representing the younger Mr. Wasendorf. Brenda Cuypers and Susan O'Meara, the firm's chief financial officer and chief compliance officer, respectively, were also notified that they weren't being targeted, according to people involved in the case.
House committee seeks IRS documents on healthcare law [Reuters]
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa demanded all documents and communications between the IRS and President Barack Obama's White House after the healthcare overhaul law was signed into law in March 2010, in a letter released on Wednesday. Issa has challenged the Obama administration's authority to administer the healthcare law in states that are refusing to cooperate. A handful of Republican governors have opted not to establish health insurance exchanges that are required by the law. The IRS is charged with distributing health insurance tax credits through the state exchanges. Issa argues that federally-created exchanges, set up in the resisting states, cannot deliver the tax credits. At a hearing earlier this month, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said the agency can distribute the tax credits. Shulman acknowledged that "there is some contradictory language" in the health care law.
More Firms Bow to Generation Y's Demands [WSJ]
They're often criticized as spoiled, impatient, and most of all, entitled. But as millennials enter the workforce, more companies are jumping through hoops to accommodate their demands for faster promotions, greater responsibilities and more flexible work schedules—much to the annoyance of older co-workers who feel they have spent years paying their dues to rise through the ranks. Employers, however, say concessions are necessary to retain the best of millennials, also known as Generation Y, which is broadly defined as those born in the 1980s and 1990s. They bring fresh skills to the workplace: they're tech-savvy, racially diverse, socially interconnected and collaborative. Moreover, companies need to keep their employee pipelines full as baby boomers enter retirement.