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 »

What’s up with Hulu?

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According to the New York Times, Hulu is approaching investment banks to underwrite an IPO this fall valuing the company at $2 billion. What is Hulu? Hulu is an online video service that offers a selection of hit shows, clips, movies, and more at Hulu.com and numerous destination sites online and across four screens —… 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 »

New Revenue Recognition Standards on the Way for Contractors

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Contractors should be educating themselves on the impact of the new proposed revenue recognition standards and the recently published (June 24, 2010) exposure draft pertaining to revenue from contracts with customers. Public comments are due October 22, 2010, and it is expected the standards will be finalized in 2011. Questions: 1. What are some of… 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 »

Risky Medicine for Hospital Financing

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In a last-minute change to the financial reforms bill, Congress allowed Wall Street to continue to sell interest-rate swaps directly, rather than isolating these derivatives in separate units. The thinking behind this move is that the interest-rate securities are benign, or at least less dangerous than credit default swaps, which the legislation requires banks to… Read more »

Small Discrepancies Grow Into a Giant Fraud

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Satyam Computer Services, a leading Indian outsourcing company that served more than a third of the Fortune 500 companies, was at the heart of a huge 2009 fraud perpetrated through the significant inflation of earnings and falsification of accounts and assets for a number of years.  Chairman, Ramalinga Raju, resigned  in January 2009 after revealing that… Read more »

Madoff: Freedom in Prison?

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In an extended expose, the New York Magazine reported that Bernard Madoff described his scheme as a real nightmare to him, as if he were the real victim, and complained about little old ladies bugging him for money. The article goes on to describe his celebrity in prison among the other inmates and his “freedom”… Read more »

Donated Inventory

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Over the next five years, Wal-Mart plans to donate about 1.1 billion pounds of food to food banks and provide $250 million to help them buy refrigerated trucks, improve storage and develop better logistics. The plan to contribute $2 billion in cash and food to the nation’s food banks is considered to be one of… Read more »