Bill seeks FASB Required Study

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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: What Act does the bill seek to apply? What are the three major effects that… Read more »

Hidden Blacklist

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According to Politico, the new tax law includes a little-noticed blacklist barring people working in certain fields, and earning more than $157,500, from claiming a new 20 percent deduction for unincorporated businesses called pass-throughs. Questions: Why did the Congressmen decide that pass-throughs should be limited? Who ultimately gets to make the decision? According to Acting IRS… Read more »

Who’s Scrooge this year? Ba-Humbug!

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According to the Washington Post, who sources Senate staffers, the Treasury Department refuses to stop forcing permanently disabled people to pay taxes on student loans that have been canceled, leaving a vulnerable population susceptible to thousands of dollars in charges. Questions: 1. What is the financial problem associated with each dollar forgiven? 2. What is… Read more »

Lions Hunting Zebras! Oh MY!

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According to the New York Times, Wells Fargo would like to close the chapter on the sham account scandal, saying it has changed its policies, replaced its chief executive and refunded $2.6 million to customers. However, lawmakers and regulators say they will not let it go that quickly. Questions: 1. Who were the customers that… Read more »

The Shipping News

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According to a study released last Tuesday, U.S. multinational companies are saving $100 billion a year by shifting their profits overseas to lower their tax bills. Questions: 1. Is this tax fraud? Why or why not? 2. Explain the mechanism they are using. 3. Which countries are companies shifting profits to and why (be specific)?… Read more »

The Bottom Line

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More than 250,000 of Corinthian Colleges’ victims will be able to get out from under massive and fraudulent student loan debts, Education Secretary John King will announce Friday in Boston. Questions: 1. What is the big asterisk that the article refers to? 2. How many schools and how many states are involved in this scam?… Read more »

Investigating Integrity

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A U.S. watchdog agency is preparing to investigate the Federal Reserve and other regulators in order to determine whether they are too lenient on the banks they are meant to police. Questions: 1. What is the strategy to be used in this investigation? 2. Explain the “revolving door” concept that the article mentions. 3. What… Read more »

Will the Fed or won’t the Fed?

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Ms. Janet Yellen indicated in testimony before Congress on November 4, that an interest rate increase could come in December 2015. But she added that no decision had been made. Questions: 1. When was the last time that the Fed raised interest rates? 2. Where has the benchmark interest rate been since Dec. 16, 2008?… Read more »

Bye-bye Loopholes! You will be missed!

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Keep an eye out for three retirement loopholes that the government may close shortly. They have become increasingly popular as financial advisers have learned how to exploit kinks in the law. Questions: 1. Who benefits from the Back-door Roth IRA conversions and how does this work? 2. What bothers lawmakers about “the stretch IRA?” 3…. Read more »

Team Disney – Its a Small World After All

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Nothing could be worse than losing your job, except maybe being required to train your replacement. That is what happened in the Magical Kingdom when cheaper H-1B workers from an India outsourcing firm replaced about 250 U.S. employees at the end of January this year. Questions: 1. What explanation did Disney executives give for this… Read more »