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Accounting News Roundup: More Execs Say Benefits Sarbanes-Oxley Outweigh Costs; New Jersey Millionaire Tax Fails; Has the SEC Learned Anything? | 06.22.10

As Congress Mulls SOX Exemption, Survey Suggests Acceptance [Compliance Week]
Just when Sarbanes-Oxley compliance was about to get torpedoed by the financial reform bill, a new study comes out that shows companies are starting to see benefits from the legislation, “In its 2010 Sarbanes-Oxley compliance survey, Protiviti says 70 percent of executives in at least their fourth year of working to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley say they believe the benefits outweigh the costs. That’s a big swing from the first year the firm asked the same question and heard only 39 percenbenefits greater than the costs.”

Showdown Over Strippers [WSJ]
Some people in the Show Me State are not interested in living up to that name, “Last month, the Republican-controlled legislature passed one of the nation’s toughest state laws aimed at strip clubs and other adult-entertainment venues. It would ban nude dancing and the serving of alcohol in adult cabarets, force strip clubs to close at midnight and forbid seminude dancers to touch patrons.”

The legislation is currently awaiting sign/veto from MO Governor Jay Nixon.

Opponents argue that the state’s very economic recovery is at stake, “Club owners and dancers say that the venues rarely attract crime, and that the new rules would be so strict that hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in state revenue could be lost at a time when Missouri’s economy is struggling to recover from the recession.”

JP Morgan Names Doug Braunstein CFO in Shake-Up [AP]
“JPMorgan Chase said Tuesday it is shuffling the positions of three executives, including naming a new chief financial officer. The shake up is part of a program JPMorgan Chase has put in place to have executives work across multiple divisions to broaden their experience. Doug Braunstein is taking over as CFO. He was previously head of the bank’s investment banking division in the Americas. Braunstein, 49, replaces Michael Cavanagh, who had served as CFO since 2004. Cavanagh was named head of the bank’s treasury and securities services business.”

Tropical Storm May Pose Threat to BP Spill Cleanup [Bloomberg]
The first storm of the Atlantic hurricane season may enter the Gulf of Mexico as soon as next week, possibly disrupting BP Plc’s efforts to clean up the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Thunderstorms in the Caribbean may strengthen into a tropical storm this week before heading into the Gulf between Mexico and Cuba, said Jim Rouiller, a senior energy meteorologist at Planalytics Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

“The first named tropical storm of the 2010 season appears more likely to form over the northwestern Caribbean late this week and will go on to represent a formidable threat to the Gulf, along with heightening concerns about the oil slick,” Rouiller said in an e-mail yesterday.

Forecasters are predicting this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, may be among the most active on record and hamper the U.K. oil company’s efforts to plug the leaking well. AccuWeather Inc. forecast at least three storms will move through the region affected by the spill.

New Jersey Democrats fail to extend millionaires tax [Reuters]
Garden State millionaires rejoice!

SEC Crazy Talk [Portfolio/Gary Weiss]
Sam Antar recently turned over 37,000 documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission but not because the SEC was getting nostalgic for the Crazy Eddie days.

The SEC wanted documents, emails etc. from both Antar and Fraud Discovery Institute founder Barry Minkow on companies that have been covered by both men. The information relates mostly from information obtained from short-sellers. However, Gary Weiss writes that the SEC also asked for emails that the two exchanged with two reporters and from Antar’s ex-wife.

Gary thinks that this poking around by the Commission is all too familiar, “Well, I think what we may be seeing is a repeat of the [David] Einhorn fiasco, and then some,” referring to the SEC’s investigation into Einhorn’s criticism and short-selling of companies.

Einhorn was eventually vindicated and the companies – most notably Allied Capital – outed for their shady practices. Why the SEC is digging around the very people trying to help them isn’t quite clear but then again the SEC doesn’t have the greatest track record.

Accounting News Roundup: Lehman Failure Was a Team Effort; Boston Provident Ex-CFO Faces Prison After Guilty Plea; Who Wants to Watch a Toxic Asset Die? | 03.12.10

JPMorgan, Citigroup Helped Cause Lehman Collapse, Report Says [Bloomberg]
There’s so much blame to go around: Dick Fuld! Every Lehman CFO that ever worked there! JP Morgan, Citi, Ernst & Young (who we’ll get to shortly), you’re all at fault too! But mostly Dick Fuld. He was putting lots of pressure on Lehman’s balance sheet magicians to reduce the bank’s debt. The report states that Fuld was “at least grossly negligent” and if it gets worse than that, you’ll certainly hear about it.

According to the Bankruptcy Examiner’s report, there was plenty of parties that didn’t help matters. JP Morgan and Citi were demanding more collateral from Lehman as the firm tried to stave off death while E&Y sat back as LEH got all hocus-pocus with their accounting. So pick a company or person you don’t like and point the finger. It sounds like an argument can be made.

All this amounts to largest bankruptcy in history and boy will it sell a helluva lot of books, movie tickets, and HBO subscriptions. Silver lining!

Trader faces up to 6 1/2 years in prison [Bloomberg via Boston Globe]
Former Boston Provident CFO Ezra Levy pleaded guilty to securities and wire fraud after being accused of stealing $3 million from New York-based Boston Provident Partners, LP. Levy told the judge that he used the money to pay ‘personal expenses’ although no word on what the loot was. Presumably not a fleet of limos.

We Bought A Toxic Asset; You Can Watch It Die [NPR]
Ever dreamed of owning just a small piece of a toxic asset just watch the slow, agonizing death? Of course! Some reporters at NPR chipped in to invest $1,000 in a bond with over 2,000 bad, really bad mortgages all for the sake of journalistic interest. If the team somehow manages to make money it’s going to charity.

Job of the Day: J.P. Morgan Needs a CFO/Vice President

J.P. Morgan is looking for a CFO to lead its Commercial Credit Card business. This is a product with the Company’s Treasury Services Card Products business unit.

The position is located in the Chicago with an alternate location in New York.

Get more details, after the jump.

Company: J.P. Morgan

Title: CFO Commercial Credit Card – TS Card Products – Vice President

Location: Chicago with an alternate location in New York

Description: Commercial Credit Card is a $300 million revenue product organization within the Treasury Services (TS) Card Products business unit ($700 million revenue). The CFO of Commercial Card reports directly to the CFO of TS Card Products.

Responsibilities: Work closely with the TS Card Products CFO as a critical member of the finance lead team; Partner with the Commercial Card Product management team to manage the product P&L and create transparency into business performanceEvaluate financial results and ensure they are communicated and understood and that the appropriate actions are identified and prioritized; develop and maintain key performance measures for revenue and expense; Development of annual business plan (revenue, expense, capital and project profile); Forecast, Analysis and Reporting of ongoing monthly results including Revenue, Headcount, Direct Expense and Indirect Expense (allocations); Work closely with Controllers team to manage month end close process; Lead meetings with product and operations partners to discuss product revenues, expense plans, and current issuesHelp maintain product pricing model; Develop, evolve, and automate processes to create reporting efficiencies

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: VP of Financial Reporting and Fund Admin. at J.P. Morgan

The Vice President of Financial Reporting/Fund Administration postion requires someone with extensive experience with funds that are subject to the Securities Act of 1940.

This individual will oversee the preparation of quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports to shareholders and to the SEC.

Get more details on this position, located in Boston, after the jump.

Company: J.P. Morgan

Title: Vice President – Financial Reporting/Fund Administration

Location: Boston, MA

Responsibilities: Oversee the production of the Fund’s quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports to shareholders and file with the SEC; Coordinate shareholder report mailings with transfer agent or distributor; Ensure the timely completion and review of all financial statements prior to production; oversee the preparation and review of filing; Form N-SAR and N-Q; oversee the preparation and filing of Form N-CSR for all funds with SECWork with the Fund’s legal counsel and outside auditors with regard to filings, examinations, and reporting; provide Fund’s Board of Directors and Fund Management with timely, essential and accurate reporting of Fund operations; prepare correspondence for distribution to Fund management and Board of Directors when deemed appropriate; manage all financial reporting responsibilities as appropriate.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Fund Accounting Analyst at J.P. Morgan

Who wouldn’t want to get into Jamie Dimon’s house? JPM is looking for an AVP/Fund Accounting Analyst in Boston.

Check the details for this position after the jump.

Company: J.P. Morgan

Title: Fund Accounting Analyst – Supervisor

Location: Boston, MA

Description: As an Assistant Vice President in the Global Support Unit, you will be responsible for establishing and reviewing the controls of the daily operation, ensuring adherence to procedures and policies, and for providing necessary data to senior management and clients.

Responsibilities: Manage up to four supervisors, each with a staff of four to six fund accountants, senior fund accountants and support positions; Your core responsibilities include: interviewing, hiring and coordinating the training of new employees; performing salary and performance reviews of the staff; reviewing key areas of daily operations in order to ensure accuracy and compliance with procedures and controls; ensuring the completeness and timeliness of reporting to clients, outside parties, and other internal departments; assigning responsibilities and ensuring an efficient work environment; reviewing accounting related issues including posting corporate actions, interpreting tax rulings

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.