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The Daily


Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Mar 8, 2016
Accounting and Financial News Stories

Policy Makers Defend Postcrisis Financial Regulation

Wall Street Journal
U.S. financial policy makers are taking stock of the vast new rule book written after the financial crisis and considering whether regulations designed to create safer markets have made them less functional. But it isn’t clear they are ready to erase any parts of the new regime just yet. In a series of speeches Monday, senior officials at the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department acknowledged that new regulations may be playing a role in some of the major trends affecting global finance, including increased market volatility and “de-risking”—the phenomenon where large global banks jettison whole classes of customers.

Wall Street bonuses sag again
Crain’s New York Business
For the second year in row and the sixth time since the first tremors of the financial crisis began nearly a decade ago, Wall Street bonuses fell in 2015, according to a report Monday by the New York state comptroller's office. It's hard to feel too bad about the decline, considering the average Wall Streeter collected a $146,200 bonus last year on top of whatever salary he or she may have earned. But for what it's worth, the decline in pay illustrates how the brave new postcrisis world is hitting home for the investment-banking crowd.

Regulators Prod Audit Firms to Improve Quality by 2019
Accounting Today
The six largest audit firm networks have agreed with international audit regulators on a new initiative to achieve a measureable reduction in audit deficiency findings by 2019. The move comes in response to persistent levels of deficiencies in public company audits by the six largest audit firm networks. A report released last week by the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators found the pace of improvement is too slow at the firms.

Default-Swap Traders Needed
There's a big business opportunity sitting almost untouched in Asia. As with any great deal, it's not without risks, but the profits and benefits to the market could outweigh potential troubles. Asian banks and exchanges are missing the chance to become more active in the credit default-swap market, just when investors need it most. Soured debts are increasing in the region, and investors have few options to protect their credit exposure to troubled companies, leaving them to short the stock and spread the pain to minority shareholders. In case banks on this side of the world lack an incentive, they need only look at their Western counterparts.

FASB Removes Effective Dates for Private Company Accounting Alternatives
Accounting Today
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued an accounting standards update for private companies that opt to apply private company accounting alternatives, removing the effective dates for four of the alternatives. They include: ASU No. 2014-02, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350); ASU No. 2014-03, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815); ASU No. 2014-07, Consolidation (Topic 810): Applying Variable Interest Entities Guidance to Common Control Leasing Arrangements; and ASU No. 2014-18, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Identifiable Intangible Assets in a Business Combination.

New York Legislators Take Aim At Interest Loophole
A number of progressive groups in the New York State assembly are working to close what they call the carried interest loophole. Assemblymen have started a campaign to close the loophole, which allows hedge fund managers to pay far less federal tax on a large proportion of their income. The state politicians are due to introduce a bill this Monday which would raise taxes on residents who currently pay less federal tax, writes Noam Scheiber for The NYTimes.

Why the Fed Isn’t Out of Ammo
Wall Street Journal
The Federal Reserve may actually have plenty of ammunition at its disposal for when the next downturn hits. It is just that much of it doesn’t fit any of the weapons the central bank has ever used and nobody knows what its dangers might be. The worries that roiled markets earlier this year have subsided, not least because the Fed signaled it won’t raise rates when it meets next week. Indeed, while recent data, including Friday’s jobs report, suggest the economy is in decent shape, even a rate increase at the Fed’s June meeting is looking iffy.

On International Women's Day, a Look at Women CPAs
March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women as wells as a call to action for accelerating gender parity. As a Certified Public Accountant and a woman, I thought it would be a good day to reflect on a few of the first female CPAs in the U.S. A Madera Times newspaper profile from November 1937 mentions three females in attendance at a meeting of the American Institute of Accountants. “That old saw about women having a terrible time making the check-book balance at the end of the month is probably right, if the last meeting in New York of the American Institute of Accountants is any guide. At that meeting there were some 200 certified public accountants – and just three of the figure jugglers were women. It looks like a man’s business.”

Expected Credit Loss Model Could Challenge Auditors
Accounting Today
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has released a publication describing some of the audit issues arising from the shift to Expected Credit Loss models when accounting for loan losses under new accounting standards. ECL models are now required, or will soon be required, by some financial reporting frameworks, including the International Accounting Standards Board’s IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.