Accounting/Budgets: Big Organizations
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 29, 2014 Why US companies can earn $51 billion in the Cayman Islands even though its GDP is only $3 billion
QUOTE: The foreign subsidiaries of US corporations made $94 billion in Bermuda in 2010, the latest year we have data for. That’s incredible work, since only $6 billion of goods and services were produced on the island that year. What does that tell us? It tells us that something fishy is going on.
Quartz Oct 05, 2013 No way to run a country: The Land of the Free is starting to look ungovernable. Enough is enough
QUOTE: ...Republicans are setting a precedent which, if followed, would make America ungovernable. Voters have seen fit to give their party control of one arm of government—the House of Representatives—while handing the Democrats the White House and the Senate. If a party with such a modest electoral mandate threatens to shut down government unless the other side repeals a law it does not like, apparently settled legislation will always be vulnerable to repeal by the minority. Washington will be permanently paralysed and America condemned to chronic uncertainty.
Economist Feb 04, 2013 U.S. Accuses S. & P. of Fraud in Suit on Loan Bundles
QUOTE: The Justice Department filed civil fraud charges late on Monday against the nation's largest credit-ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, accusing the firm of inflating the ratings of mortgage investments and setting them up for a crash when the financial crisis struck....From September 2004 through October 2007, S.&P. "knowingly and with the intent to defraud, devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud investors" in certain mortgage-related securities, according to the suit filed against the agency and its parent company, McGraw-Hill Companies. S.&P. also falsely represented that its ratings "were objective, independent, uninfluenced by any conflicts of interest," the suit said.
New York Times Dec 25, 2012 On Web, 'Time Has Come' for '60s singer
QUOTE: decades later, what does Lester Chambers have to show for "Time Has Come Today"?....It's a story of bad contracts -- and record company executives refusing to even honor those, he said. The contract for "Time Has Come Today" promised a small percentage of sales, but the record company kept finding expenses that came out of the band's share before they saw any of it.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 14, 2012 This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers: The media's 'bad apple' thesis no longer works. We're seeing systemic corruption in banking – and systemic collusion
QUOTE: The notion that the entire global financial system is riddled with systemic fraud – and that key players in the gatekeeper roles, both in finance and in government, including regulatory bodies, know it and choose to quietly sustain this reality – is one that would have only recently seemed like the frenzied hypothesis of tinhat-wearers, but this week's headlines make such a conclusion, sadly, inevitable.
Guardian Unlimited Apr 28, 2012 How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes
QUOTE: The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation: although technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data. Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’.
New York Times Apr 21, 2012 Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle
QUOTE: Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters....The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
New York Times Dec 13, 2011 Beirut Bank Seen as a Hub of Hezbollah’s Financing
QUOTE: an intricate global money-laundering apparatus that, with the bank as its hub, appeared to let Hezbollah move huge sums of money into the legitimate financial system, despite sanctions aimed at cutting off its economic lifeblood....While law enforcement agencies around the world have long believed that Hezbollah is a passive beneficiary of contributions from loyalists abroad involved in drug trafficking and a grab bag of other criminal enterprises, intelligence from several countries points to the direct involvement of high-level Hezbollah officials in the South American cocaine trade.
New York Times Nov 25, 2011 Banks’ Ties to Olympus Scrutinized
QUOTE: A number of European banks are under investigation by Japanese authorities to determine whether they helped the management of Olympus hide irregular payments....many questions remain about how Olympus managed to obscure the losses for so long and how much outside help the company may have received.
New York Times Nov 25, 2011 In Commodities World, Safe and Secure Sometimes Isn’t
QUOTE: regulators suspect that MF Global did not keep its clients’ money separate in its chaotic waning days, using some customers’ money, they believe, to meet its own obligations. And if the firm violated the rule requiring segregated accounts, investors say they are now concerned about the viability of commodities trading as it has been conducted in the United States for more than a century.
New York Times Aug 02, 2011 Reaping Millions in Nonprofit Care for Disabled
QUOTE: [Young Adult Institute Network] and the Levys have earned many admirers in the field for the quality and range of their programs...But their spending is seldom scrutinized, and, even when state officials turn up questionable expenses, there are few consequences.
New York Times Jul 12, 2011 Rush to Defend Tax Rule on Inventory and Profits
QUOTE: the LIFO proposal — supported by the president’s deficit-reduction commission — would simplify the tax code and establish a standard method of calculating the cost of items that a company sells....at first glance the LIFO proposal looked like “an easy source of revenue.” But, he said, “it taxes illusory income, phantom profits that result from inflation.”
New York Times Jul 06, 2011 We Knew They Got Raises. But This?
QUOTE: examination of executive pay in 2010...the median pay for top executives at 200 big companies last year was $10.8 million. That works out to a 23 percent gain from 2009.
New York Times Jul 05, 2011 Cheating for Dummies: Your guide to smarter NCAA rule-breaking
QUOTE: The NCAA has what amounts to subpoena power over current athletes and current university employees. That's it. The NCAA's rules don't apply to anyone else. That opens an almost infinite array of cheating opportunities completely undetectable by the NCAA's enforcement cops. If you get caught cheating, you got caught because you're incredibly stupid.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 17, 2011 Abracadabra! Magic Trumps Math at Web Start-Ups
QUOTE: The use of such metrics has come with a meteoric rise in valuations for companies like Groupon, LinkedIn and Facebook that has invited skepticism from analysts and people in the industry. They are questioning whether some business models — be they a social network aimed at professionals or a maker of online farm games — can endure.
New York Times Dec 22, 2010 N.Y. Attorney General Cuomo sues Ernst & Young, alleging Lehman accounting fraud
QUOTE: The big accounting firm Ernst & Young helped Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers conceal its deteriorating financial condition before Lehman's historic collapse, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo charged...
Washington Post Dec 21, 2010 What's Wrong With Accountants? Ernst & Young may soon be sued for its role as auditor of Lehman Brothers. What kind of oversight do accounting firms need?
QUOTE: Many accountants will say that there was no fraud because Lehman’s numbers were accurate on the day they were reported (even if it was understood by both Lehman and its auditor that Lehman would reborrow the same amount the next day). In years past, the S.E.C. would have said that an auditor’s responsibility was to provide a full and fair disclosure, and not simply to certify compliance with generally accepted accounting principles.
New York Times Oct 26, 2010 Treasury Hid A.I.G. Loss, Report Says
QUOTE: The United States Treasury concealed $40 billion in likely taxpayer losses on the bailout of the American International Group earlier this month, when it abandoned its usual method for valuing investments...
New York Times May 09, 2010 Banks Lobbying Against Derivatives Trading Ban
QUOTE: Democrats surprised the industry by adding the “push-out” provision in mid-April, transforming the final rounds of an epic prize fight. The industry has been forced to set aside the issues that were its greatest concerns, including its opposition to a requirement that almost all derivatives trades be recorded on public exchanges.
New York Times May 04, 2010 Crisis Panel to Probe Window-Dressing at Banks
QUOTE: It’s an open secret on Wall Street that many big banks routinely — and legally — fudge their quarterly books. But now Washington is taking a hard look at a range of maneuvers that help banks dress up their financial statements, and raising some uncomfortable questions about banks’ bookkeeping.
New York Times Apr 12, 2010 Lehman Channeled Risks Through ‘Alter Ego’ Firm
QUOTE: It was like a hidden passage on Wall Street, a secret channel that enabled billions of dollars to flow through Lehman Brothers. In the years before its collapse, Lehman used a small company — its “alter ego,” in the words of a former Lehman trader — to shift investments off its books.
New York Times Apr 03, 2010 How Washington Abetted the Bank Job
QUOTE: Mr. Bernanke said the Fed had known nothing about this....The collapse of Enron back in 2001 revealed that the biggest financial institutions, here and abroad, were busy creating products whose sole purpose was to help companies magically transform their debt into capital or revenue.
New York Times Aug 06, 2009 Magic numbers: The SEC fines GE
QUOTE: The SEC had accused GE of bending “accounting rules beyond breaking point” in order to avoid disappointing results on four occasions in 2002 and 2003.
Economist Aug 05, 2009 Bank Balances Shift With Rule Changes: After One Tweak Improved the Books, Another Could Erase Gains and More
QUOTE: A controversial change in accounting rules earlier this year has allowed banks to claim billions of dollars in additional earnings simply by tweaking their bookkeeping, greatly enhancing the appearance that the industry is returning to health.
Washington Post Jul 20, 2009 Bailout Overseer Says Banks Misused TARP Funds
QUOTE: Many of the banks that got federal aid to support increased lending have instead used some of the money to make investments, repay debts or buy other banks...
Washington Post Jul 07, 2009 Florida aided Allen Stanford, suspect in huge swindle: Florida regulators -- over objections by the state's top banking lawyer -- gave sweeping powers to banker Allen Stanford, accused of swindling in
QUOTE: Over objections by the state's chief banking lawyer -- including concerns that [Allen] Stanford was laundering money -- regulators granted sweeping powers never given to a private company.
Miami Herald Aug 21, 2008 Inquiry Lays Out Chain of Failures in High-Rise Fire
QUOTE: Contractors tearing down the contaminated former Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan never had a formal demolition permit, even though they were undertaking one of the most complicated efforts ever to dismantle a skyscraper.
New York Times Aug 21, 2008 Report Rejects Medicare Boast of Paring Fraud
QUOTE: Medicare’s top officials said in 2006 that they had reduced the number of fraudulent and improper claims paid by the agency, keeping billions of dollars out of the hands of people trying to game the system. But according to a confidential draft of a federal inspector general’s report, those claims of success, which earned Medicare wide praise from lawmakers, were misleading.
New York Times Jun 09, 2008 From a Whistle-Blower to a Target
QUOTE: On May 14, 2001, Joseph A. Ripp, the newly appointed chief financial officer of America Online, faxed a letter to the Las Vegas offices of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen with disturbing news: it appeared that an AOL business partner, and Arthur Andersen client, had forged a signature on a contract and booked several million dollars of sham revenue.
New York Times May 19, 2008 SEC Sues 8 Former AOL Officials: Regulator Alleges Inflation of Online Ad Revenue
QUOTE: In the complaints filed in a federal court in Manhattan, the SEC contended that the former AOL executives "knowingly or recklessly engineered, oversaw and executed a scheme to artificially and materially inflate the company's reported online advertising revenue."
Washington Post Jan 15, 2008 Samsung Chairman’s Office Raided in Inquiry
QUOTE: The raids were the first major actions taken by Cho Joon-woong, the top special prosecutor who began his work last week with a mandate from Parliament to investigate accusations that [Lee Kun-hee] and his aides had amassed slush funds to bribe politicians, prosecutors and other government officials.
New York Times Aug 17, 2007 Dell, Admitting Managers Inflated Sales Reports, Will Restate Income
QUOTE: The senior management of Dell regularly falsified quarterly returns from 2003 through 2006 to create the appearance that the company had met sales targets...
New York Times Jul 06, 2007 Did Siemens Cheat the World Bank?: Investigators are looking into whether the German engineering giant lined its own pockets on a Pakistan power plant project
QUOTE: Siemens is alleged to have artificially driven up the costs for the construction of a power plant completed in the Punjab region of Pakistan during the late 1990s. The result may have been several millions worth of inflated World Bank subsidies for the project.
BusinessWeek Jun 14, 2007 Trial Ordered in Italy for 4 Big Banks in Parmalat’s Failure
QUOTE: An Italian judge on Wednesday ordered Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS, as well as 13 employees of the four banks, to stand trial on charges of market manipulation in the events that led to the multibillion-dollar bankruptcy filing of the Italian dairy company Parmalat in 2003.
New York Times Jun 07, 2007 Navy, GSA Say Contract Led to Waste, Maybe Fraud
QUOTE: An effort to buy floating barriers to protect the nation's fleet from attacks several years ago led to millions of dollars in waste and may have involved criminal fraud by a government employee and contractor...
Washington Post Apr 14, 2007 CA Says Its Founder Aided Fraud
QUOTE: Charles B. Wang, the founder and former chairman of Computer Associates, oversaw an accounting fraud lasting more than a decade at the software company, according to a scathing report released yesterday by the company’s board.
New York Times Feb 02, 2007 Dell Faces Lawsuit over Intel Relationship
QUOTE: In the lawsuit...several large investors claim that between February 2003 and September 2006, Dell executives manipulated its accounting practices and issued false public claims about the Round Rock, Texas, PC maker's financial health.
eWeek Jan 20, 2007 Apple's 802.11n accounting conundrum: Apple's explanation of a planned Wi-Fi upgrade fee has its roots in obscure accounting rules that tell companies how to book sales of future product upgrades.
QUOTE: because the company has already recognized all the revenue from the sales of those computers, it has to now charge customers at least a nominal fee in order to establish the value of its software upgrade and satisfy an obscure accounting regulation known as SOP 97-2....Of course, back when the Macs first shipped, Apple could have told customers that the upgrade cost was coming and avoided customer backlash over the surprise fee, but that didn't happen either.
News.com Dec 03, 2006 Blowing the Whistle on Big Oil
QUOTE: Mr. Maxwell has filed a suit in federal court in Denver against the Kerr-McGee Corporation. The suit accuses the company, which was recently acquired by Anadarko Petroleum, of bilking the government out of royalty payments. It also contends that the Interior Department ignored audits indicating that Kerr-McGee was cheating.
New York Times Nov 14, 2006 Sleazy CEOs have even more options tricks: Backdating may be just the beginning: A lot of other suspicious stuff tends to happen when companies grant options.
QUOTE: even before Lie's backdating bombshell, scholars suspected that executives were using insider information for financial gain in timing options grants and news releases. Does that make backdating just the most obviously illegal tip of an iceberg of dodgy corporate behavior? And is anyone going to get in trouble for the other stuff?
CNN/Money Magazine Oct 28, 2006 U.S. Finds Too Many KBR Reports 'Proprietary'
QUOTE: Under federal law, contractors are allowed to mark some documents proprietary, especially when they are bidding on a deal. But auditors for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc. was using that stamp even with such basic records as daily head counts of how many people ate at the company's dining facilities.
Washington Post Oct 05, 2006 Apple CEO Apologizes In Options Scandal: Apple CEO Apologizes In Options Scandal
QUOTE: a three-month [Apple--Ed.] internal investigation uncovered "serious concerns" with the actions of two former executives. Jobs was aware "in a few instances" that unnamed company executives had gone back in time to cherry-pick dates when stock prices were low to increase the likelihood that employees would turn greater profits.
Washington Post Sep 21, 2006 Suits Say U.S. Impeded Audits for Oil Leases
QUOTE: Four government auditors who monitor leases for oil and gas on federal property say the Interior Department suppressed their efforts to recover millions of dollars from companies they said were cheating the government.
New York Times Sep 14, 2006 Debunking Big Lies About Stock Options
QUOTE: The company gets a deduction for the expense, and the employee pays tax on this additional compensation. So, how do options excusers get away with this big lie? They exploit your ignorance of accounting.
Forbes Aug 19, 2006 70's Law Costs 61,000 Military Widows Thousands of Dollars in Survivor Benefits
QUOTE: As many as 61,000 military widows whose husbands died of causes relating to their military service lose out on thousands of dollars a year in survivor benefits because of a law that dates from the 1970’s...referred to by many critics as the “widow’s tax.’’
New York Times Aug 08, 2006 Public Pension Plans Face Billions in Shortages
QUOTE: state and local governments owe their current and future retirees roughly $375 billion more than they have committed to their pension funds...“the people they are hurting are the taxpayers, who, whether they realize it or not, are going into a form of debt."
New York Times Aug 07, 2006 Data, Data Everywhere
QUOTE: with the rise of XML and Web services, this data is not only in databases, but in file systems, applications and a wide range of personal computing devices. This is making it more difficult to establish a data warehouse where the "one truth" concerning the state of a business process can be found, because data that has a material impact on the results of that business process is basically everywhere.
Baseline Aug 02, 2006 New CEO disclosure rules won't fix the system
QUOTE: if you were the top executive of a company, you might've been able to get stock options that were backdated to a time when your company stock was languishing...if company managements can get stock options that are backdated to a time when the stock was trading at a lower price, their options suddenly have more value. The backdating practice has been called everything from "innocuous" to "corporate looting."
Bankrate.com Jul 27, 2006 The Wrong Lesson
QUOTE: The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which failed to employ the kinds of controls necessary to prevent an estimated $1 billion in fraud and abuse following Hurricane Katrina...cut back immediate emergency aid for families...
New York Times Jul 20, 2006 A Move to Try to Update Lease-Accounting Rules
QUOTE: Accounting rule makers agreed yesterday to try to develop a new rule on lease accounting to replace a 30-year-old standard that critics say has enabled companies to leave hundreds of billions in debt off their balance sheets.
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