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ANR: PwC Partner Agrees to Punishment; “The reality is that the FASB believes that U.S. GAAP is better.”; GOP’s Similar Tone on Taxes | 11.19.12

PwC auditor sidelined until 2015 for $2.1b Centro debt bungle [SMH]
PWC partner Stephen Cougle has agreed to a temporary ban on auditing work following his involvement in approving Centro's misleading financial accounts in 2006-07. The accounts wrongly classified $2.1 billion worth of debt as non-current when in fact it was current. Centro came close to collapse when it was unable to refinance the debt during the global financial crisis. Mr Cougle led the team that audited Centro. He has promised the corporate watchdog he will not practise as a registered auditor until June 30, 2015, and has agreed to additional training, and to submit his first three audits after the suspension for checking by another auditor approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. A spokeswoman for PwC said Mr Cougle would remain a partner and stay with the firm working on internal issues.

The IASB's Stages of Grief [Accounting Onion]
Someone had to say it and Tom Selling steps up to the plate: "So sorry to have to break it to the IASB staff, but they are deluding themselves. The reality is that the FASB believes that U.S. GAAP is better."

Berlusconi accountant held hostage [AFP]
Silvio Berlusconi's accountant was taken hostage in his home last month by armed intruders who demanded a 35 million euro ($44 million) ransom from the former Italian premier, police said on Monday. The police have arrested three Italians and three Albanian citizens accused of taking Giuseppe Spinelli, one of Berlusconi's closest allies, and his wife Anna hostage for a night in October.

Shareholder spring an 'illusion', say KPMG [Telegraph]

Amid increasing anger over the perceived disconnect between pay and performance, bosses including Andrew Moss of Aviva fell victim to shareholder rebellion earlier this year, with the insurance chief stepping down days after a pay revolt. There have been a number of other scuffles over remuneration, with the likes of Cairn Energy, Prudential and Cookson feeling investors' wrath as they suffered revolts over pay in the spring. But, research by KMPG claims that the so-called 'shareholder spring' was "something of an illusion", with 2012 having seen less shareholder opposition compared to last year.

IRS says Sandy victims can tap retirement accounts [Reuters]
Cash-strapped victims of Superstorm Sandy will be able to tap their retirement accounts for hardship withdrawals and loans, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday. Those with employer-provided plans, such as 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and 457(b)deferred compensation plans, may be able to use streamlined loan procedures, the IRS said. Those with individual retirement accounts (IRAs) may not take loans, but they may be able to take hardship withdrawals.

GOP’s Opposition To New Taxes: Same As It Ever Was [TPM]

“For the purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions,” means is a new way of saying the same old thing.
San Francisco's Battle for the Right to Be Naked Never Gets Old [AtlanticWire]
On Tuesday, the city's lawmakers will consider an ordinance first proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener that would prohibit anyone over the age of 5 from exposing "his or her genitals, perineum or anal region on any public street, sidewalk, street median, parklet or plaza." 
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