Accounting News Roundup: Why Did Power Integrations Fire Their CFO?; Spain Making ‘Sweeping Austerity Measures’; GM May Want GMAC Back | 05.12.10
Power Integrations fires chief financial officer [AP]
Not to worry Power Integrations investors, Bill Roeschlein’s firing “was not related to financial statements or regulatory issues,” according to the company. However, he is currently the “subject of a felony domestic assault criminal complaint filed in Missouri,” which he denies and naturally he will “defend himself vigorously.” Unfortunately, that might cut into the job search.
Spain joins euro zone austerity bandwagon [Reuters]
Spain has agreed to “sweeping austerity measures,” cutting civil service pay 5% and freezing it for 2011. The country will also cut approximately 13,000 public sector jobs.
Minority Owner Sues Cuban, Calls Mavericks ‘Insolvent’ [NYT]
Ross Perot, Jr. is suing SEC target Mark Cuban, accusing him of turning the Dallas Mavericks into a financial catastrophe. The Times reports, “Perot is seeking damages, the naming of a receiver to take over the team and the appointment of a forensic accountant to investigate its finances. Perot said that Cuban’s actions had diminished the value of his investment in the team and violated his and other minority owners’ rights.”
Cuban, as you might expect, isn’t impressed with Charts Boy, Jr.’s loserness. He wrote in an email to the Dallas Morning News, “There is no risk of insolvency. Everyone always has been and will be paid on time. Being in business with Ross Perot is one of the worst experiences of my business life. He could care less about Mavs fans. He could care less about winning.”
Failed Bomber’s Resume Fail [FINS]
Faisal Shazad’s resumé sucks.
Is G.M. Looking to Buy Back GMAC? [AP]
Sources say that GM is interested in buying back GMAC (now known as Ally Financial) “so they can offer more competitive lease and loan deals.” The U.S. Government currently owns 56% of GMAC and 61% of GM, who plans to announce its first quarter earnings next week.
Accounting News Roundup: Will an International Audit Regulator Become a Reality?; GMAC Shopping for a CFO Candidate; FASB Sued for Antitrust Violations | 05.06.10
Audit chief welcomes debate on international regulator [Accountancy Age]
The idea of an international audit regulator is being kicked around in the EU with about as much seriousness as returning to the moon. That is, it’s absolutely something to be discussed but at this point nobody’s firing up the boosters just yet. IFRS has been proved to be, putting it lightly, a challenge but ever since the Lehman Brothers/E&Y fiasco, reform of the auditing business doesn’t seem far behind.
And while the idea is being entertained, the hurdles to an international regulator sound a little familiar:
Ian Powell, senior partner at PwC UK, said the establishment of an international regulator is “worthy of debate” but believes global consensus among nations may prove difficult.
“Most countries think their regulation is good and it is their system which should be applied – that is going to make it difficult to convince them to give up their system,” he said.
“If you talk to virtually any regulator in any country they do want to see more globalisation of regulation, but the big problem is there are certain political issues that are different in different countries.”
GMAC Said to Consider Ex-Citigroup Banker Yastine as Next CFO [Bloomberg Businessweek]
GMAC is hot on the trail for a new CFO after their last one bolted in March shortly after his TARP testimony. The ward of the state is said to be considering Barbara Yastine, who formerly was the CFO at both Credit Suisse’s and Citigroup’s investment banking groups.
FASB Defendant in Suit Alleging Antitrust Violations and Patent Misappropriation [Silicon Economics, Inc. Press Release]
Silicon Economics, Inc. is suing the FASB, alleging “antitrust violations and with willfully attempting to misappropriate patented technology,” according to the San Jose-based company’s press release.
The lawsuit concerns Silicon Economics’ EarningsPower Accounting™ (EPA™) – a patented method developed by the company to improve the accuracy, validity, and usefulness of financial statements. Silicon Economics recommended the merits of EPA to FASB in response to FASB’s request for public comment on the objectives of financial accounting (No. 1260-001, July 6, 2006). FASB claims that its website terms and conditions gave it ownership of Silicon Economics’ technology, even though such terms were not part of FASB’s invitation for public comment or otherwise disclosed to Silicon Economics.
GMAC CFO Bolts Two Weeks After TARP Testimony
This story is republished from CFOZone, where you’ll find news, analysis and professional networking tools for finance executives.
Private equity firm Providence Equity Partners announced on Tuesday that it had hired Robert S. Hull, GMAC Financial Services’ chief financial officer.
Hull will join the firm, which specializes in media, entertainment, communications and information companies, as its CFO in early April. He succeeds Raymond Mathieu, who will become a managing director focused on special projects for the firm.
The 46-year-old Hull was CFO at GMAC since 2007. He was a member of the beleaguered lender’s executive committee and served briefly on its board of directors.
Previously, he held a series of finance positions at Bank of America from 2001 to 2007, most recently as chief financial officer of the company’s global wealth and investment management business.
GMAC has received $17 billion in government bailout funds and hasn’t recorded a quarterly profit since the fourth quarter of 2008. Indeed, it has lost money in nine of the last 10 quarters and lost over $10 billion in 2009.
Hull was paid $4.9 million last year.
The departure comes just two weeks after Hull had to testify before a Congressional Oversight Panel regarding the U.S. government’s assistance to GMAC under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
In a report regarding Hull’s departure, Standard & Poor’s laid out GMAC’s many troubles, which include “resolving strategic considerations for several business lines, most notably the mortgage operation; executing its plans to diversify beyond providing auto-finance products and services to GM and Chrysler dealers and retail customers; and coping with a still-fragile economy.”
Given all those challenges, the rating agency concluded, “it is not surprising to see turnover at all levels of the institution.”
Perhaps that lack of surprise is why GMAC, for its part, didn’t even bother putting out a press release over the departure, opting to make only a two-sentence filing with the SEC:
“GMAC Financial Services today announced that Chief Financial Officer Robert S. Hull has elected to depart the company at the end of March to pursue another career opportunity. The company will conduct an internal and external search for potential CFO candidates in the interim.”