People are freaking out

(UPDATE) KPMG Has Been Without Email Most of the Day; Yes, Some People Are Freaking Out

We've confirmed with a number of people at KPMG that the firm's email service has been down pretty much all day, with the outage starting somewhere around 11 am ET. We first learned about it just about an hour ago when a tipster sent us a text saying: No post yet about KPMG email being […]

KPMG Is Sorry for Not Sorting Through This Giant Charlie Foxtrot (aka MF Global) a Little Faster

Initially the House of Klynveld wasn’t worried about any MF Global clients getting their money back. Then yesterday we learned that plenty of people were pretty cranky, including one trader who thought the firm’s efforts so far were hilarious. Now, after a number of cranky phone calls and thousands of sternly-worded emails, KPMG is apologi[z]ing for all the “disruption” since they’ve been appointed as the administrator of MF Global:

“We are working with the companies’ staff to transfer client positions wherever possible. Where exchanges and counterparties have defaulted the company under their own rules, we have worked closely with them to try to optimise the outcome,” said Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG. “We understand the frustration among clients and market participants at the disruption that is currently being experienced and are sorry for the inconvenience this is causing. In relation to client assets and monies held by the company we are actively working to reconcile holdings and accounts in order to enable assets to be released as soon as possible.”

So, c’mon guys; I know it’s been over 72 hours but please bear with them.

KPMG apologises over MF Global disruption [FT]

KPMG Has Traders in Stitches

One anonymous independent trading client of MF Global said “It’s a joke. I don’t know what’s happening to my positions and when I’ve tried to contact KPMG all I’ve been told is that I can send an email to which I get an automated reply.” [FN, Earlier]

China Freaks Out Over Five CPA Exam Questions Illegally Posted to the Internet

Can you guys imagine what would happen if this were to go down in the good old USA?

According to China Daily, answers to China’s national accounting exam (similar to the CPA exam in that it’s an exam professional accountants take to work in accounting, duh) were leaked over the Internet last week and some are concerned that this unfortunate turn of events might erode trust in the exam and – worse – the profession. As if China’s sketchy accounting practices didn’t already achieve as much.


Answers were posted to an Internet forum just before the 2011 Chinese National Uniform CPA Examination was to be taken on September 17 and 18.

Here in America, CPA review providers are given retired CPA exam questions to distribute to their students but are not allowed to share actual exam content. Not like they’d know what’s on the exam anyway – many major review course providers haven’t taken the CPA exam in 10, 15 or even 20 years. Back in those days, they’d hand out copies of old exams to study. Like actual exams. Since the CPA review crew is a close-knit bunch of OGs, it’s highly unlikely that any one of them would risk their close relationship with the AICPA to hand out exam questions to needy students.

In China, a former writer of architect exam questions was sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaking state secrets after he was caught giving his students copies of exam questions during tutorials. Different world, eh?

Anyway, according to the few Chinese media reports we’ve seen, five audit multiple choice questions and answers were posted to the Internet and the Chinese CPA exam folks are understandably in a tizzy over this. To put it in perspective, their audit section consists 47 questions worth a total of 105 points, and candidates must answer at least 60 correct to pass. So really? Five questions?

That’s not all. Apparently some candidates received texts asking if they might be interested in, er, peeking at the upcoming exams’ content.

“I began to receive at least five text messages a day selling exam questions a month before the exam took place. All of them claimed they could provide genuine questions and answers. They also promised a full refund if the questions were not genuine,” 28 year-old Zhu Hua told China Daily. “I wonder how they got my number in the first place, because I only provided my contact information when I registered for the exam.”

Was this an inside job?

The Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) has sworn to conduct an investigation into the leaks and to prosecute anyone found to have leaked this information to the full extent of the law. Prepare for hangings, people, this is serious shit.

Even More Tax-Related Violence: Wife Shoots at Refund Hogging Husband

As we still tread in the wake of the Joe Stack attack on the IRS, it seems that bizarro things are happening all over this great land of ours and many of them have to do with taxes and/or the IRS. Jailbirds requesting fraudulent refunds and receiving them, IRS-inspired bulldozing of houses and now we’ve learned about a woman who tried to kill her husband who wouldn’t share their tax refund money.

And like Joe, Bulldozer Terry and the Florida inmates, the woman is pretty satisfied with her actions:

Investigators say the woman then went into the city of St. Louis and threw the gun in a sewer. Police contacted the woman a short time later and she turned herself in. Police say she didn’t seem sorry.


“She felt more than justified. She cooperated very well, with the reasoning why she fired the shots, as well as recovering the gun. She said she didn’t want a child to find the gun in the sewer,” says Daniel O’Conner, the Assistant Chief of Police for Pine Lawn.

This lady can’t be all bad; she was thinking about the kids when she threw that gun in the river. There’s no indication that the husband in this little caper was just a greedy SOB or if his not-so-good sharing skills were justified due to a spendy Mrs.

Regardless, it’s seems that every hour brings another story that strengthens the argument that taxes are the cause of all the strife and violence in this country. We should have taken the IRS shotgun shopping spree as a sign.

[h/t TaxProf and Tax Update]