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Mar 04
2011

Companies disclose potential legal bills

Posted by Stephen Taub in legal feeslawsuitscontingent liabilitiescomplianceAmerican Institute of Certified Public AccountantsAmerican Bar AssociationAICPA

Stephen Taub

A number of companies this week have disclosed in regulatory filings billions of dollars of potential losses from legal proceedings. 

Goldman Sachs Group, for example, said it could suffer "reasonably possible" losses of $3.4 billion from legal claims against the company.

Mar 03
2011

The war against social terrorism

Posted by Stephen Taub in terrorismsocial terrorismperquisitespensionsjobsheatlh carehealth insuranceCareers/Management

Stephen Taub

A civil war has broken out in the US and the main weapon being deployed is envy.

The war is over Other People's Money. It has been raging for more than two years now and is threatening to escalate.

Mar 02
2011

Weatherford reports $500 million tax error

Posted by Stephen Taub in material weaknessinternal controlsincome taxerrorscompliance

Stephen Taub

Weatherford International shook investors and Wall Street when it reported after the market's Tuesday close that it would delay the filing of its 2010 annual report after discovering a material weakness in its internal control over financial reporting for income taxes.

The energy equipment and services provider said errors for the periods from 2007 to 2010 totaled about $500 million.

Mar 01
2011

Merit raises are coming back

Posted by Stephen Taub in Towers Watsonmerit raisemerithiring freezehiringCashCareers/Management

Stephen Taub
It looks like more and more employers are opening their wallets for their best workers.

A Towers Watson survey found that companies are budgeting merit pay hikes of 3 percent for 2011. This compares with the average 2.7 percent merit increase awarded to employees in 2010 and is the largest merit increase since before the financial crisis when increases typically averaged 3.5 percent to 4 percent, according to the benefits consultancy.

Companies are also planning to provide some reinforcements for their overworked employees.

Feb 28
2011

Ex-mortgage lender's treasurer charged in TARP scam

Posted by Stephen Taub in U.S. AttorneyTroubled Asset Relief ProgramTARPSecurities and Exchange Commissionsecmortgagescompliance

Stephen Taub

Federal regulators have charged the former treasurer of a private mortgage lending company for her role in a more than $1.9 billion fraud scheme and an attempt to scam the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Desiree Brown, the former treasurer of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW), pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank, wire and securities fraud, which contributed to the failures of Colonial Bank and TBW, according to US Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Feb 22
2011

Friday night lights out

Posted by Stephen Taub in RiskFederal Deposit Insurance Corp.FDICDealscomplianceCash

Stephen Taub

It seemingly happens every Friday evening.

Federal regulators announce that some small bank cannot continue on its own and a rival is brought in to take over the assets and continue as if nothing had happened.

Feb 17
2011

Ex-Freddie Mac CFO gets Wells Notice

Posted by Stephen Taub in Wells NoticeSecurities and Exchange CommissionSEC enforcementFreddie Maccompliancechief financial officerCFO resignationsCFO

Stephen Taub

The former chief financial officer of Freddie Mac will probably face civil charges for his role in the collapse of the mortgage giant.

Anthony Piszel abruptly resigned as CFO of CoreLogic, after receiving a Wells notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission staff in connection with certain disclosure matters during Piszel's tenure at Freddie Mac from November 2006 to September 2008.

Feb 16
2011

Just 7 percent ready for new lease accounting standards

Posted by Stephen Taub in Riskleasingleaseslease accountingFinancial Accounting Standards BoardFASBDeloittecomplianceCash

Stephen Taub

It looks like most companies are not ready for the new lease accounting standards expected to be finalized as early as mid-year.

According to a recent Deloitte survey, just 7 percent of executives believe their companies are extremely or very prepared to comply with the new lease accounting standards proposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Feb 15
2011

How to interpret fourth quarter earnings

Posted by Stephen Taub in Standard & Poor'sS&Prevenueseconomic growthearnings forecastearningsCash

Stephen Taub

With the bulk of the companies having already reported their results, how did the fourth quarter shape up? Well, it all depends upon what you compare them against.

If you look at the comparable period the year before, the fourth quarter looked outstanding. However, it was only slightly better than the prior three-month period.

Feb 14
2011

Manufacturing CFOs upbeat and downbeat

Posted by Stephen Taub in RiskCFOsCashCareers/ManagementBank of America Merrill Lynch

Stephen Taub

Chief financial officers at manufacturing companies seem a little schizophrenic these days.

On the one hand, despite daily signs of an improving economy less than a majority (45 percent) are actually forecasting expansion for their industry in 2011. What's more, this is down sharply from the 59 percent reported last year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch's recently released 2011 CFO Outlook.

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