Footnotes: Audit Committees v Auditors; More EBITDA Magic; Stupid Startups | 05.02.14

Let's find out what Jim Doty has to say about Developments in the Relationships Between Audit Committees and Auditors [PCAOB]

The House set to vote on Lois Lerner's contempt charge next week [AWeb]

Nowadays, you can go public even if your numbers are shit. Just wave the magic EBITDA wand! I can somewhat understand the appeal of speculating on some unproven Internet company that loses money but promises to change the world. But a 33-year-old pizza chain? Come on. In its registration statement, the company said that it has been "repeatedly rated the #1 pizza chain in the United States by multiple third-party consumer studies." So assuming that's true, why can't it make money? Oh, but wait. It does make money on an "adjusted Ebitda" basis, which is one of those silly metrics that companies make up when they don't have actual profits to show off. Papa Murphy's said it had $24.4 million of adjusted Ebitda last year, which helpfully excluded such obviously unimportant items as — their words here, not mine — "expenses not indicative of future operations," "management fees and related expenses," "transaction costs" and "new store pre-opening expenses." [Bloomberg View]

MakeSpace could be the stupidest startup of all time. Or, as Sam Biddle said: "hahahah holy shit THAT’S LITERALLY JUST CALLED A FUCKING BOX" [TechCrunch]

In other startup news, now you can sit on your ass and make a guy bring you fish eggs on a cracker [Valleywag]

Some House Democrats think Donald Sterling should pay taxes on his $2.5 million NBA fine [The Blaze]

Tax Denier Wins Damage Claim Against IRS Levy – Kind Of [Forbes]

A Fraud Case Offers a Cautionary Tale of Finance Remington led its victims — scattered around the country and the world — to believe it would either invest in their businesses or find investors for them. The would-be entrepreneurs just needed to provide upfront fees of $10,000 to $40,000, and Remington would do the rest. But the company took the money and did nothing. Its angry clients, many of whom began to suspect they were being cheated, were told it was their fault the projects never materialized. [NYT]

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