Investing in Art: How About Some Melted Clocks?

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There has been recent momentum in art market investments, despite the recession. The art market is scouring the world for undervalued works by major artists and museums are seeking new material for blockbuster shows.  Amid this, artistic works by Dalí and others are getting longer looks. Interestingly, few artists could reap more from a late-period… Read more »

Saving Money through Social Media

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The recession has bred a new type of coupon: the group coupon. In recent months, several Web sites have launched nationwide giving customers discounts on restaurant meals, sporting events, spa treatments, golf outings — pretty much any expenditure that many people give up during economic downturns. The catch is that the coupon only applies if… Read more »

Chelsea Gets Married

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Chelsea Clinton and investment banker boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky married on July 31 in a highly secretive affair that cost approximately $3 million. To avoid the media, the event was held on a posh private estate 90 miles north of Manhattan. Questions: 1. What was one of the least expensive items at the wedding? 2. What… Read more »

HP CEO Resigns

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Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Mark Hurd resigned as chief executive officer after an investigation found he had a personal relationship with a contractor who received numerous inappropriate payments from the company. Hurd submitted receipts for expenses ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 over two years, including meals and travel, that should have been labeled as personal and not… Read more »

Who are the most trustworthy companies and why?

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Who can you trust?  In a recent examination by Audit Integrity, an independent financial analytics company in Los Angeles, the company assessed the true quality of corporate accounting and management practices by looking at more than 100 factors beyond the balance sheet and income statement. Their aim was to identify the measures most highly associated… Read more »

Multi-Million Dollar Swindle of Four Universities

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In one of the most recently uncovered Ponzi cases, a former hedge-fund manager has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in an investment scam in which he bilked as much as $900-million from investors, including four university endowments. According to investigators, the Paul R. Greenwood and his partner Stephen Walsh spent at least $160-million on mansions, horses,… Read more »

Accounting Firms and Social Media

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If accounting has the Big 4, then social media has the Big 3: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Still, many accounting firms and businesses consider LinkedIn as their sole source of social media because the site helps form relationships that often result in more business and turn into referral sources. But what are the benefits and… Read more »

Bank of America: It Depends On How You Define Materiality

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Bank of America incorrectly classified as much as $10.7 billion in short-term lending and repurchase deals for mortgage securities as sales. This claim surfaced in a May 13 letter to the SEC where the banking corporation alleges that the transactions were immaterial and that it would be beefing up its internal accounting controls.  This letter… Read more »

Scrushy Back in the News

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a new review of the convictions in the government corruption case against former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and ex-HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. Questions: 1. What is the “honest services” fraud law? 2. What is a “quid pro quo” agreement? 3. A judge issued a $2.9 billion civil judgment… Read more »

Supreme Court Rules on Constitutionality of the PCAOB

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 28, 2010, that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) violates the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers principle because board members are not appointed by the president.  In a 5-4 decision, the Court stated that the president must have more power to remove PCAOB members. The five-member board… Read more »