Victor Fleischer writes at DealBook that Michigan Congressman Dave Camp's proposal to simplify partnership and S-Corp tax law may be too simple. It's not that Professor Fleischer doesn't like simple, it sounds like he does. And he also likes that Camp gave everyone a couple of options. But Camp's more "radical" option is missing some details […]
If the drinks at Davos weren’t already free, we’re pretty sure Stephen Schwarzman would be buying.
From the Journal’s man on the accounting beat, Michael Rapoport:
Accounting rule makers took a key step Tuesday to reverse a proposal that would have required banks to value their loans based on the ups and downs of the market. The Financial Accounting Standards Board agreed that companies could continue to carry a variety of financial assets and liabilities at amortized cost, an adjusted version of their original cost, as they do now. That would reverse a proposal the board introduced last May that would have required bank loans and other financial assets to be carried at “fair value,” based on market prices.
What happened, you ask? What caused the FASB to fold like a cheap lawn chair? Remember all those nastygrams that were sent to Bob Herz? It sounds like the FASB took those personally:
FASB indicated the overwhelmingly negative reaction to its proposal, from companies and investors alike, played a big role in prompting the board to change its mind. The board received more than 2,800 comment letters on its fair-value proposal, most of them opposed to the move, and heard more opposition at a series of public roundtables before it began reconsideration of its proposal for fair-value changes.
So the bankers win this round. Oh, wait…they win every round.
Question: Who says “no” to Apple when offered a job? Answer: Blackstone Group CFO Laurence Tosi.
And what does one do when you commit an act of such allegiance? You tell the boss, natch:
Apple Inc. approached Blackstone Group LP Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi to become its finance chief, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Tosi told Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman that he plans to stay, rather than join Apple, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private.
The ‘Berg reports that because Apple has cash burning a hole in their pocket, they may be looking for a CFO who has acquisition experience and in case you haven’t heard, that’s sorta what Blackstone does. Apple gave the classic “non-denial denial” telling Bloomberg that they are “not conducting a CFO search,” and Pete “loves the company and is extremely happy in his role.”
But that doesn’t make him Laurence Tosi, does it?
The Blackstone Group co-founder, chairman and CEO is in Seoul hobnobbing with various other titans of industry, finance and politics for the G-20 Business Summit and as you might expect, things can get a little drab.
Dark suits, heavy lunches, important people trying to one-up each other’s stories and so on and so forth can really get tiresome so in order to “keep people awake,” SS brought up a topic near and dear to his heart:
[I]n the United States, we eliminated mark-to-market accounting in 1937, and why did we do that? We completely bankrupted our system before, and for some reason, somebody who liked something called transparency decided to have mark-to-market accounting come back, around the turn of the last century. So it in no way surprises me that we had a catastrophic collapse as a result of implementing mark-to-market accounting.
Not exactly sure who “somebody” is but one guy has retired and another is on his way out, so this could be Schwarzman’s reminder to the outgoing MTM cheerleaders that he hasn’t changed his stance that the whole thing just sucks.