SEC Accuses CHiPs Actor, Others Of Securities Fraud [Dow Jones]
“In complaints made public on Thursday, the SEC alleges that the actor, Larry Wilcox, and more than a dozen other penny stock promoters engaged in a series of kickback scheme volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales.
Wilcox, who starred as Officer Jon Baker on the long-running television show “CHiPs”, lives in West Hills, Calif., and is president and chief executive of The UC Hub Group, according to an SEC complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.”
Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon Line Up Against New Washington Tax [Janet Novack/Forbes]
“The Washington State fight over whether to impose a new income tax on well-to-do residents heated up Wednesday, as the group opposing the tax released a list of employers that have joined the anti-tax cause. Companies on the list include Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Weyerhaeuser and Safeco Insurance.
The tax, which will appear as Initiative 1098 on the state’s November ballot, would impose a 5% tax on income of more than $400,000 per couple and a 9% levy on income exceeding $1 million per couple.”
Rep. Levin: Fate of Bush tax cuts unknown [On the Money/The Hill]
This does not sound good: “The Senate is expected to move first on the issue, but Levin said even that was not certain.
‘It’s preferable that the Senate act first because we’ve seen that if they can’t act first they won’t act second because the Republicans block it and don’t provide the 60 votes,; he said, adding, ‘I think we’ll have to wait and see.’ ”
American Apparel names Tom Casey as acting president [Reuters]
Tom Casey just left the terminal case known as Blockbuster in August.
SBA Loans Jump, Despite Unsteady Year [WSJ]
“Small-business lending still hasn’t bounced back to pre-recession levels. But despite a rocky year, the number of loans backed by the Small Business Administration jumped about 30% in 2010.
The agency, which ended its fiscal year Sept. 30, says it approved $16.84 billion, or 54,826 small business loans, in the past 12 months. That’s up from fiscal 2009, when the SBA backed about $13.03 billion during the depths of the credit crunch. In 2007, the agency backed about $20.61 billion.”
Oregon Gubernatorial Race Roiled by Candidate’s Charitable Deduction for Donation of Home to Fire Department [TaxProf Blog]
You try and do something nice…
FASB Advances EITF Proposals on Goodwill, M&A [A&A Update/Compliance Week]
“The Financial Accounting Standards Board is proposing new updates to the Accounting Standards Codification around goodwill write-downs, business combinations, and revenue recognition for health care entities based on recommendations from its Emerging Issues Task Force.
In the proposal titled Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): How the Carrying Amount of a Reporting Unit Should Be Calculated When Performing Step 1 of the Goodwill Impairment Test, FASB and the EITF want to settle on one starting point for all companies to follow in deciding if goodwill needs to be written down.”
U.A.E. Drops Threat to Suspend BlackBerry [NYT]
Your vacation is back on.
With all the news about President Obama’s proposals to increase bank lending to small business, there’s one obvious question that needs to be addressed: Why not have the Small Business Administration take a more aggressive role? Why not allow the agency to lend directly to small businesses?
The issue came up at a recent hearing held by the House Financial Services and Small Business Committees.
Turns out, the Small Business Act creating the SBA allows the agency to do direct financing of companies, as the You’re the Boss blog recently pointed out. And through at least the 1980’s, they did so, lending to companies rejected by banks.
Plus, in the past year, the Senate has introduced legislation to help the SBA make direct loans. And the House has passed two bills creating programs aimed at direct lending. That legislation would create a program which would exist only in a recession, through which the SBA would help small businesses fill out loan applications. Then, if no bank were willing to lend, the agency would step in.
But the Obama administration is against any and all such proposals. The reasons: 1) The agency doesn’t have the staff or the resources; 2) It would take as long as a year to get such a program up and running; 3) Administrative costs would be in the billions of dollars; and 4) Historically, SBA direct loans have had higher cumulative loss rates than other SBA-backed loans.
Those, in fact, are pretty convincing arguments.
It might just be that, while it sounds good on paper to give the SBA the power to lend directly, the reality is very different. Sure, drastic action is needed to increase bank lending. But this one might be thoroughly impractical.
The bottom line: Ultimately, it’s bankers who probably are more qualified than anyone at the SBA to make these decisions. In a time of scarce government resources and a need for fast action, the most efficient approach is for the SBA to do whatever it can to encourage banks to lend.
Of course, whether the steps proposed by the Obama administration are likely to do that is the $64,000 question.