February 14, 2013
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Business Finance Today
American Airlines and US Airways boards approve merger
The boards of US Airways and AMR, American Airlines' parent company, have given final approval to a merger of the airlines. Industry experts consider the deal the last great mega-merger in U.S. aviation. If the $11 billion all-stock deal closes, it will create the world's biggest airline and put four major carriers in control of 86% of air travel in the U.S. The Washington Post (2/14), The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model) (2/14), Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/Sky Talk blog (2/13)
U.S. companies express concerns about European transaction tax
U.S. financial institutions and other businesses argue that a proposed tax on financial transactions in Europe ignores international treaties, overreaches and would hurt the global economy. The European Commission has outlined the plan, which could raise more than $46 billion annually. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (2/14), Bloomberg (2/14), The Wall Street Journal (2/13)
Your Bottom Line
Private Company Council outlines 3 goals
The Private Company Council has placed three projects on its agenda: consolidating variable-interest entities, accounting for "plain vanilla" interest-rate swaps and establishing how to measure intangible assets. The council was established last year by the Financial Accounting Foundation to set accounting standards for privately held companies. Accounting Today (2/13)
SEC urges move on auditor rotation, but PCAOB wants to wait
Securities and Exchange Commission member Daniel Gallagher pressed Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Chairman James Doty on the issue of mandatory auditor rotation at a public meeting to approve the PCAOB's budget. Gallagher urged Doty to call a vote, but Doty said he wants to see how similar efforts unfold in Europe. The Wall Street Journal/CFO Journal (2/13)
In the C-Suite
How to pick a deep and varied talent bench
Arby's CEO Hala Moddelmog attributes her success in turning around the 48-year-old sandwich shop partly to her savvy selection of leadership that is "smarter, faster and fundamentally different from her," Jenna Goudreau writes. Also, "I look for people who think differently in the way they analyze situations," Moddelmog says. Forbes (2/13)
Study sees more than names in CEOs' signatures
CEOs with larger signatures tend to spend more aggressively and carelessly, according to a study of signatures on corporate filings by the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina. Other researchers say the premise is unscientific. Inc. online (free registration) (2/13)
On the Move
BlackRock picks Gary Shedlin as CFO
Shedlin is a Morgan Stanley banker who has advised BlackRock on most of its significant deals. Reuters (2/12)
Off the Charts
What you get or give for Valentine's Day might depend on where you live
Americans are expected to spend $18.6 billion on Valentine's Day candy, cards, gifts and other items this year, according to the National Retail Federation. This analysis from Esri details what sweethearts buy each other based on ZIP code. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/14)
I absolutely think it's a failure of modern business that people hire people who are exactly like them. You really don't need another you."
-- Arby's CEO Hala Moddelmog, as quoted by Forbes
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