The United States should support Honduras against Manuel Zelaya

July 15, 2009

Some have asked for my views on the Honduran so-called “coup” in which the former Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, was removed from office upon the order of the Honduran Supreme Court.   Having read the relevant documents in the original Spanish, I agree with Miguel Estrada that the removal was both legal and necessary. For reasons […]

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How much is that comma worth? How about £3.5 million?

July 10, 2009

Ever get frustrated with attorneys who fuss over precise contract wording?  They do it for good reason:  In negotiating and drafting agreements, millions can be won or lost by the placement of commas or parentheses.   Chartbrook v. Persimmon Homes, decided July 1, 2009 by the British House of Lords,* vividly illustrates the principle that a […]

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SEC should cease regulatory fraud, quit issuing SABs

June 3, 2009

From the War on Terror to the War on Wall Street, due process violations by government agencies are proliferating like nuclear weapons. Facilitated by widespread ignorance among Americans — general public, financial professions, and the federal judiciary — the pattern of abuse threatens not only American markets but the very foundations of American life. In […]

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Not even WSJ reporters get FASB accounting standards. Why write more of them?

May 23, 2009

For an eloquent illustration of how accounting innovations like FAS 157’s “fair value” regime are way beyond even above-average American financial readers, try Michael Rapoport’s May 1, 2009 article entitled New FASB Rule Aims to Clarify ‘Net Income’. Rapoport, trying to capture the meaning of the new SFAS No. 160, stumbles over one of the […]

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Comments on FASB’s fair value amendment reflect FAS 157 distress

April 2, 2009

Lenders have been hammered by the pathologically procyclical impact of FAS 157’s mark-to-market regime.  Hardly surprising, therefore, that banks and credit unions came out in force to support the latest FASB “clarification” of FAS 157.  Some other commenters, mostly from the “analyst” community, emphatically disagree.

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Graham County Soil & Water: Can whistleblowers sue using state or county audits?

March 26, 2009

The federal False Claims Act (FCA) encourages private whistleblowers to sue, usually in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, to recover federal funds allegedly misspent by individuals, companies or local government agencies. Rewards of blowing the whistle can be very substantial — up to 30% of the government’s recovery plus attorneys fees — but […]

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Barney Frank to FASB: Quit pretending to so much reality and certainty in fair value accounting!

March 12, 2009

Today, in congressional action sure to give every internal auditor and financial analyst recurring nightmares, members of the U.S. House Capital Markets Subcommittee demanded that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) demonstrate greater flexibility and speed in changing market-to-market (or “fair value”) accounting rules in the face of today’s financial industry crisis, or else. Much […]

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Obama mortgage plan: Every American with a mortgage should call their lender

February 21, 2009

When I first watched commodities traders at Chicago’s CME denounce President Obama’s Homeowner Affordability & Stability Plan, I was on board with the traders. “How dare anyone ask that I help pay off my neighbor’s mortgage? If they bit off more than they could chew, that’s their fault!” But I began to have second thoughts […]

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Raising capital in a down market? Beware securities law traps!

February 18, 2009

Raising start-up capital is a tough job even in good economic times.  These days, with credit so scarce, it can seem nearly impossible.  Unfortunately, when entrepreneurs want to get things done “in the worst way,” they sometimes run out of patience and do just that.  Raising capital in 21st century America is a bit like […]

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Stimulus bill features 344 pages of tax code changes, credit for plug-in electric cars

February 13, 2009

The House of Representatives this afternoon passed the 1,071-page Obama-Pelosi “economic stimulus” bill on a 246-183 vote with no Republican support and seven Democrats voting against.  One clear group of winners are tax advisors who can look forward to additional work parsing the bill’s 344 pages of tax changes. 

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