Paltry returns cause CFOs to rethink short-term investments | Contracts to buy existing homes in U.S. approach 2-year high | Analysis: U.S. remains a hurdle to aligning accounting rules
April 27, 2012
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Analysis: Most new jobs at U.S. multinationals are overseas
Big multinational corporations headquartered in the U.S. are creating jobs faster than other employers, but 75% of those positions are overseas, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. While the 35 firms analyzed added 113,000 workers to their U.S. payrolls between 2009 and 2011, they hired more than 333,000 employees in their foreign operations, the newspaper notes.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/27) 
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Financial Focus
Paltry returns cause CFOs to rethink short-term investments
Some finance chiefs and corporate treasurers are looking for ways to beef up returns on short-term cash amid historically low interest rates. Some companies are loosening investment policies to allow for greater risk or longer maturities in exchange for higher returns. However, companies should continue to be cautious about preserving needed capital, Bank of the West executive Paul Montaquila says. "It's not the return on your money, it's the return of your money," Montaquila says of the intended focus of short-term-cash investing. (4/26) 
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Contracts to buy existing homes in U.S. approach 2-year high
The number of existing-home contracts buyers signed in March posted a strong increase, nearing a two-year high, the National Association of Realtors said. The group's Pending Home Sales Index rose 4.1% to 101.4, the highest reading since April 2010.
Reuters (4/26) 
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A&A Report
Analysis: U.S. remains a hurdle to aligning accounting rules
The International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board have been converging major accounting standards for several years, and have passed the original target date of June 2011 for completion. Finance ministers from 20 countries finally gave the boards a deadline recently, demanding they finish alignment by mid 2013 at the latest. Even if they do, it is unclear whether the U.S. will move to incorporate international accounting standards in the near future.
Reuters (4/26) 
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Public or nonpublic? FASB makes two key decisions
The Financial Accounting Standards Board on Wednesday decided that an entity that is required to file or furnish financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue securities to be traded in a public market should not be included in the definition of a private company. Privately held financial institutions should be considered private companies, FASB decided.
Journal of Accountancy online (4/26) 
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Tax Spotlight
Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing focuses on tax extenders
With dozens of tax provisions expired or scheduled to expire at the end of the year, the House Ways and Means Select Revenue Subcommittee on Thursday held a hearing to discuss which should be extended. They also talked about making some items, such as the R&D credit, permanent.
Journal of Accountancy online (4/26) 
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Business groups step up calls for Congress to renew expired tax breaks:
The Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and International Franchise Association are among a number of business groups calling on Congress to renew a series of expired tax breaks. One example is a tax credit granted to retailers that hire welfare recipients. More than 100 of these provisions expired at the end 2011. These groups want those provisions renewed retroactively.
The Hill/On The Money blog (4/26) 
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Market Update
Dividend payouts set to reach record for S&P 500 index
Dividend payouts are expected to reach a record this year for Standard & Poor's 500 index, with 401 of the companies now paying dividends, said index analyst Howard Silverblatt at S&P Indices. However, dividend taxes are expected to rise next year, which could prompt companies to shift to share repurchases, he said.
The Wall Street Journal/CFO Journal (4/26) 
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Policy & Regulatory
House passes cybersecurity legislation
The House approved legislation that would make it easier for firms to share cyberthreat information with the government, despite a veto threat from the Obama administration. Lawmakers approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection bill after making several tweaks intended to limit the way the government can use the information. For information and best practices on cyber security, visit
The Hill/Floor Action Blog (4/26) 
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Group of U.S. senators want Volcker rule settled by summer
Twenty-two U.S. senators wrote to five regulators urging them to complete the Volcker rule by summer. They asked that the rule contain no loopholes or concessions to Wall Street. "The Volcker Rule is a critical protection to help ensure that such a crisis does not happen again," according to the letter. "The economy needs these protections, our constituents deserve these protections, and the law demands these protections."
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/DealBook blog (4/26),  The Hill/On the Money blog (4/26),  Fox Business/Dow Jones Newswires (4/26) 
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International View
Geithner presses China to proceed with financial reform
As U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner prepares for meetings in Beijing next week, he encouraged China to continue with financial reform. He said that if China proceeds on key issues, the U.S. will open up its markets to the Asian nation. "We are willing to continue to make progress on these issues, but our ability to do so will depend in part on how much progress we see from China on issues that are important to us," Geithner said.
Reuters (4/26),  Google/The Associated Press (4/26),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/26) 
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Analysis: U.K. double-dip recession is a setback, not a crisis
Britain is in its first double-dip recession since the 1970s, but the situation isn't catastrophic, according to The Economist. The U.K. economy is recovering more slowly than the U.S. one, and the rebound is weaker compared with previous downturns. "Britain's pursuit of austerity, led by George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, is going fairly well," the magazine notes. "Stimulating growth is going to prove a lot harder."
The Economist (free content) (4/28) 
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AICPA/AAML conference on divorce to be held next month
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