Is Sharia law now enforceable in the United States?

September 15, 2008

Say what?  The TimesOnline reports today that through the mechanism of private arbitration the government of the United Kingdom now enforces Sharia law in civil and family law cases where the parties have previously agreed to be bound by Sharia court rulings. At this point, readers may be wondering why the headline of this post […]

Read the full article →

Carl Levin’s Tax Tempest in a Teapot: Dividend abuse?

September 12, 2008

Sex abuse has so dominated the headlines of late that I was beginning to miss stories about tax abuse. But tax abuse aficionados now have something to chatter about thanks to the justifiably obscure Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (“PSIHSGA”).  Apparently for political effect, PSIHSGA […]

Read the full article →

SEC blotter: Former KBR CEO pleads in Nigerian bribery case

September 4, 2008

Yesterday, the SEC charged former Kellogg, Brown & Root, Inc. (KBR) executive Albert Jackson Stanley with participating in a “scheme” to win more than $6 billion in construction contracts by bribing Nigerian government officials. According to the SEC, “The contracts were awarded to a four-company joint venture of which The M.W. Kellogg Company, and later […]

Read the full article →

DOJ loses thirteen KPMG tax indictments through prosecutorial misconduct

August 29, 2008

The U.S. Department of Justice took another ethical black eye yesterday, this time from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. The court held — in a widely watched KPMG tax fraud case — that DOJ attorneys illegally interfered with the defendants’ access to legal counsel which is protected under the 6th Amendment to […]

Read the full article →

T.J. Rodgers: FASB regulates to death wealth-creating companies

August 26, 2008

U.S. accounting standards setting is truly out of control. Despite the constant drumbeat from special interests — mostly analysts and retirement plans who demand ever-increasing complexity and sophistication in accounting standards — what we get in the form of new accounting pronouncements in this country is largely indecipherable geek-speak.

Read the full article →

Why does the FASB hide its audio archives?

August 26, 2008

When it comes to understanding the rationale of board or committee decisions and holding board members accountable, nothing beats a video or audio recording of the meeting. Meeting minutes, by contrast, are notorious for doing more to obfuscate and obscure than inform.

Read the full article →

Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB: Kavanaugh dissents

August 22, 2008

Today, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a much-anticipated 2-1 decision in Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB.  The panel, in my view, reached the wrong conclusion, holding in essence that the PCAOB can rule over the world of U.S. accounting and auditing while immune from constitutional checks and balances.  […]

Read the full article →

Price of oil falls, U.S. SEC to investigate short-sellers

July 22, 2008

Well, not really. But you’d think, based on the SEC’s virulent reaction to the decline in banking stocks, they or the Treasury or DOJ or somebody would act to protect oil investors, as well.  These poor souls lost another $4 per barrel on Tuesday. But maybe not all investors are created equal after all. If […]

Read the full article →

Former HP VP Malhotra admits stealing trade secrets

July 11, 2008

Atul Malhotra, former VP of imaging and printing services at Hewlett Packard (HP) pleaded guilty today to stealing trade secrets in a joint prosecution by federal and California authorities. Federal trade secrets prosecutions are relatively rare but — like most federal white collar crimes — they bring a super-sized penalty.

Read the full article →

FASB: SocGen’s Kerviel accounting was right?

July 9, 2008

Société Générale has been treated to all kinds of abuse for recognizing in 2007 Jerome-Kerviel losses “incurred” in 2008 just after the 2007 year-end cutoff. Floyd Norris has been especially critical of the French bank’s use of the “true and fair view” exception which he calls an IFRS “loophole.” Well, as they say, what goes […]

Read the full article →