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ANR: Poll: Many Back Obama’s Tax Plan; The Shiny New Excel; H&R Block Botched Batman’s Returns | 07.17.12

Google's Mayer Takes Over as Yahoo Chief [WSJ]
Yahoo Inc. reached inside the ranks of rival Google Inc. in its latest changing of the guard, appointing longtime Web-search executive Marissa Mayer as its new chief and returning the struggling Internet company to a leader with deep technology experience.

Goldman Builds Private Bank [WSJ]
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is building an in-house bank to lend money to wealthy people and companies, in a significant shift that underlines the harsh business climate facing Wall Street since the financial crisis. The New York securities firm, known for its aggressive trading and big corporate deal-making, is ramping up its activities to become a private bank to serve wealthy customers around the world. The new unit will also lend more directly to corporations, some of whom already make investments and do business with Goldman. Executives have set a goal of $100 billion in loans, up from $12 billion at the end of March.

Poll: Public says Obama tax plan more fair, helps economy [The Hill]
Americans by a two-to-one margin say raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 per year would both help the economy and make the tax system more fair, an encouraging sign for President Obama's election-year bid to reform the tax code. According to a survey released Monday evening by the Pew Research Center, 44 percent say the president's tax proposal would help the economy, while an identical number say the plan would make the tax system more fair. Conversely, 22 percent say the proposed reform would hurt the economy, and 21 percent say it would make the system less fair.

Lack of SEC decision on IFRS turns CPAs’ focus to convergence projects [JofA]
An SEC report released Friday did not contain a recommendation on whether U.S. public companies should be allowed or required to adopt IFRS for their financial reporting. Although the long-awaited, 127-page report provides a thorough discussion of the issues regarding IFRS in the United States, the timing of an SEC decision on IFRS remains a mystery. SEC spokesman John Nester said the staff will make a recommendation on IFRS, but there is no timetable for that project. Sean Lager, CPA, the lead partner in Frazier & Deeter LLC’s International Financial Reporting Standards Group, said he does not expect an SEC decision on IFRS for U.S. public companies before the end of the year. But FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are making progress with the three convergence projects, which are expected to be issued as final standards by the middle of 2013.

First Look at Excel 2013 [AWEB]
This is like Christmas morning for you, isn't it?

KPMG Foundation bestows $470,000 in minority scholarships [AT]
The $10,000 scholarships will go to 12 new recipients and 35 students whose scholarships have been renewed. Scholarships are renewable annually for up to five years. […] The KPMG Foundation has awarded over $10.5 million to 309 African American, Hispanic American and Native American scholars pursuing doctorate degrees since 1994. Currently, 194 of those recipients have successfully completed their doctoral programs and are professors at universities across the country.

Norquist rebuts Coburn, says he 'stands alone' on taxes [The Hill]
Anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist on Monday called Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) a liar after the senator blasted him in the pages of The New York Times. Coburn’s op-ed piece argues that Senate Republicans have already violated Norquist’s strict “interpretation” of his anti-tax pledge, and would be willing to agree to a deficit grand bargain with a “penny” of net tax increases. Norquist told The Hill that the piece is filed with “lies” and said that Coburn is violating, and trying to get colleagues to violate, a pledge they made to voters. “It is like a couple that is having a fight and one of them tries to drag a third party in. Like the preacher who gave a speech last week against adultery. ‘Hey, this is your fault!’  ‘No, no, no! You promised her you would behave, you didn’t promise me. You explain to her why you get to make decisions on adultery.’ ”

Batman (Files Amended Tax) Returns After H&R Block Admits Error [Forbes]

Janet Novack: "H&R Block conceded on its web site [Monday], that it 'miscalculated Bruce Wayne’s estimated tax bill' in a whimsical 'Superhero Economics' infographic it created comparing the finances of Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman) and Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man). The graphic, originally posted on Block’s web site on July 5th  by Jerry Green, Block’s social media manager, had at first seemed like a PR coup; it was, for example, reproduced in full on the Huffington Post, where it attracted 664 Facebook shares and 127 comments."


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