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Today, according to VOX, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear a lawsuit challenging the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Questions:

  1. According to the article, who championed the establishment of the CFPB?
  2. In general, who leads most federal agencies and who leads most independent agencies by contrast?
  3. How is the leadership of the CFPB different?
  4. How far do you think the Supreme Court will go in potentially eliminating the CFPB?
  5. Explain the protection provided for the PCAOB in 2010 that resulted from the case:  Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Source:

Millhiser, I. (2019). The Supreme Court will decide if Trump can fire the CFPB director. The implications are enormous. VOX, Oct. 18 (Retrievable online at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/18/20872236/trump-justice-department-supreme-court-cfpb-unitary-executive)

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According to The Earth Island Journal, New York prosecutors working for then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued their first subpoenas in 2015 to Exxon, claiming that the oil giant used two sets of books and misled investors by downplaying the potential costs of carbon emissions. Next week, the case is actually coming to trial.

Questions:

  1. Is this a criminal or civil case and what is the difference?
  2. According to the article, what did the two sets of books hide in terms of dollars?
  3. Why does a lawyer from the Center for International Environmental Law expect to see more of these type lawsuits?
  4. In order to prevail, what will prosecutors have to prove?

Source:

Kusnetz, N. (2019). Exxon Climate Fraud Case Set to Start in New York Next Week. Earth Island Journal, Oct. 18 (Retrievable online at http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/articles/entry/exxon-climate-fraud-case-oil-sands-new-york)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Information Systems, Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized, Video Updates.

According to the WSJ, General Electric Co. said it was freezing its pension plan for about 20,000 U.S. workers and offering pension buyouts to 100,000 former employees, as the conglomerate joins the ranks of U.S. companies phasing out a guaranteed retirement.

Questions:

  1. Who is the CEO?
  2. The video said the CEO has been aggressive. What has he done to help cash flow?
  3. How does this Pension cut help?
  4. Briefly explain the transparency problem that GE has.
  5. Explain how lump-sum payments to about 100,000 former employees, who haven’t started collecting monthly pension payments, will help the business.

Source:

Gyrta, T. (2019). GE to Freeze Pensions for 20,000 Workers. The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/ge-unveils-pension-plan-changes-aimed-at-paring-deficit-debt-load-11570447318)

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According to Business Insider, Tesla owners will soon be able to customize their next generation of Tesla cars to emit the sound of a goat bleating, or a fart noise in place of a horn. 

Questions:

  1. How did Elon Musk announce this new customization?
  2. What other sounds did he mention?
  3. Do you think he was serious?
  4. How have his off-handed remarks gotten him in trouble in the past and with whom?
  5. What’s the current stock price for Tesla?

Source:

Holmes, A. (2019) Elon Musk says Tesla owners will soon be able to replace their horn with fart and goat noises. Business Insider, Oct. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-tesla-horn-sounds-to-include-fart-goat-noises-2019-10 )

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According to Business Insider, Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank Group, told Nikkei Business in an interview that he embarrassed and impatient with where some of the company’s investments are at in 2019.

Questions:

  1. What were two of SoftBank’s flagship investments and what happened to them?
  2. Who was the founder of WeWork and approximately how long did he pitch the concept to SoftBank before receiving $11 billion?\
  3. What is Vision Fund 2?

Source:

Meisenzahl, M. (2019). SoftBank’s founder is ’embarrassed and impatient’ with his investments after troubles with WeWork and Uber, and now he’s telling founders to ‘know your limit.’ Business Insider, Oct. 7 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/softbank-masayoshi-son-embarrassed-with-investments-after-wework-uber-troubles-2019-10)

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Last week, according to CNET, Amazon showed off a new batch of Alexa-powered products.

Questions:

  1. There were two themes to these products according to CNET. What were these themes?
  2. What company has Amazon acquired that was scrutinized for its work with police departments across the country? Research why.
  3. Which device sounds the most interesting to you?

Source:

Grunin, L. and M. Woolerton. (2019) Amazon event 2019: Echo Buds, Echo Frames, Alexa privacy updates, Amazon Smart Oven and everything announced. CNET, Sep. 26 (Retrievable online at https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-event-2019-echo-buds-echo-frames-alexa-privacy-updates-echo-studio-and-everything-announced/ )

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Hamann will become the new CFO for the Union Pacific Corporation.

Questions:

  1. Where is the Union Pacific Corporation headquartered?
  2. What areas does the article indicate that she will heavily scrutinize?
  3. What financial metrics is Ms. Hamann looking at?
  4. What changes were made to Union Pacific’s capital structure prior to May 2018?

Source:

Trentmann, N. (2019). Incoming Union Pacific CFO in Search of Additional Efficiencies at U.S. Railroad. The Wall Street Journal, Sep. 27 (Retrievable online at wsj.com/articles/incoming-union-pacific-cfo-in-search-of-additional-efficiencies-at-u-s-railroad-11569623942?mod=cx_picks&cx_navSource=cx_picks&cx_tag=collabctx&cx_artPos=6#cxrecs_s)

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Representative Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Missouri, introduced a bill on September 27 in Congress requiring the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to formally study the impact of new accounting standards before finalizing them. 

Questions:

  1. What Act does the bill seek to apply?
  2. What are the three major effects that the bill seeks to have investigated?
  3. What subcommittee does Mr. Luetkemeyer sit on?
  4. What will Mr. Luetkemeyer’s bill be called?
  5. What is the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) and the FASB’s position on this bill?

Source:

Maurer, M. (2019) Congressman Introduces Bill Requiring FASB to Study New Standards. The Wall Street Journal, Sep. 27 (Retrievable online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/congressman-introduces-bill-requiring-fasb-to-study-new-standards-11569624940)

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According to Drugs.com, vape device maker Juul Labs said Wednesday it is stopping all print, digital and television advertising, and its CEO, Kevin Burns, is stepping down.

Questions:

  1. Who is the new CEO?
  2. Who owns a 35% share of Juul?
  3. Who is investigating e-cigarettes and why?

Source:

Staff. E-Cigarette Maker Juul Stops All Advertising, Replaces CEO. Drugs.com, Sep. 25 (Retrievable online at https://www.drugs.com/news/e-cigarette-maker-juul-stops-all-advertising-replaces-ceo-85374.html?utm_source=ddc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+News+Summary+-+September+26%2C+2019&utm_content=E-Cigarette+Maker+Juul+Stops+All+Advertising%2C+Replaces+CEO)

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According to the Washington Post, Nissan will pay $15 million, and former chairman Carlos Ghosn will pay $1 million to settle allegations by U.S. regulators that they hid more than $140 million of Ghosn’s retirement benefits from investors.

Questions:

  1. How long was Ghosn CEO of Nissan?
  2. What punishment did the SEC impose on Ghosn? Was it for hiding retirement or something else?
  3. When will Ghosn stand trial and will it be civil, criminal, or both?

Source:

Court Staff. (2019). Business Digest: Nissan, Ghosn to pay fines in fraud case. The Washington Post, Sep. 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/business-digest-nissan-ghosn-to-pay-fines-in-fraud-case/2019/09/23/f196347a-de27-11e9-be96-6adb81821e90_story.html)