Church Robbed of $600,000 Online

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Over one weekend in August 2010, the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, fell victim to a $600,000 ACH fraud theft, thus, becoming another in the growing list of businesses and entities that have suffered huge losses as a result of these frauds. Questions: 1. Based on the article, what do you calculate as the… Read more »

Bollywood on a Budget

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The world’s movie capital is not Hollywood but Bollywood. Bollywood is the nickname for the Indian film industry located in Bombay. Fourteen million Indians go to the movies on a daily basis (about 1.4% of the population of 1 billion) and pay the equivalent to the average Indian’s day’s wages (US $1-3) to see any… Read more »

A Fee to Visit the U.S.

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Starting Wednesday, September 8, 2010, travelers from 36 nations will be required to pay a new two-year entry or travel fee when they visit the United States — part of which will be used to promote tourism. The travelers will pay $14 to register through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), required for those… Read more »

Happy Birthday! Microsoft is 35 years old!

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From modest beginnings, Microsoft, started by college dropout Bill Gates, gave birth to an entire industry, changing the way we live and work and became one of the largest software companies on the planet. As this article points out, not everything has been notable during its history. In particular, look at this parody video of… Read more »

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 »

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 »

Mortgage Fairs

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Given the last year’s trend, is there an end in sight to new record-low interest rates? For example, on July 22, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which provides a snapshot of national average mortgage rates, reported a national average rate of 4.56% with 0.7 points on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. At the same time… 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 »