Analysis: U.S. remains a hurdle to aligning accounting rules | Volcker rule questions surround Russell rebalance | Watchdog: HAMP expansion allows for rental fraud

April 27, 2012
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Analysis: U.S. remains a hurdle to aligning accounting rules
More than 100 countries use the International Accounting Standards Board's guidelines, but the U.S. remains reluctant to sign on. The IASB's U.S. counterpart, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, has been trying to align its rules with those of the IASB, but the effort continues to run into problems. Group of 20 finance ministers gave the boards until mid-2013 to align their rules. Reuters (4/26)
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Blend Content and Community to Create Truly Interactive Websites
Websites need to evolve. Visit any website today and they're much the same as those in the 1990's: entirely one-way. In this eBook, we detail six reasons for blending an online community to make your website interactive.

National News
Watchdog: HAMP expansion allows for rental fraud
Government efforts earlier this year to ease borrower access to the Home Affordable Modification Program has opened the door for fraud, a federal watchdog warns. The program now allows investors to modify mortgages for as many as four homes that are to be rented out, but it doesn't require proof that the homes aren't actually vacation homes, says the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. HousingWire (4/26)
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Financial and Tax Update
Sen. Grassley questions Schapiro about whistle-blower protections
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, requesting details about how the agency handles whistle-blowers. "Exposing a confidential whistle-blower can lead to employer retribution and chill the environment for future whistle-blowers to come forward," according to the letter. Bloomberg (4/26)
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Employment Focus
EEOC updates its stance on criminal-background-check policies
A policy from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that while employers may consider a job applicant's criminal record, hiring policies that uniformly rule out candidates with criminal convictions likely violate federal law. The EEOC recommended that employers evaluate candidates with criminal records case by case. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/25)
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EEOC delays decision on disability-bias rules
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has delayed disability-discrimination guidelines that business groups say would make it harder for employers to meet time-off requests. The guidelines could lead to employers being forced to grant more than 12 weeks of family leave to employees, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says. Bloomberg Businessweek (4/25)
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Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch
Court deals setback to FTC fight against "pay for delay" agreements
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has struck a blow to the Federal Trade Commission's goal of stopping "pay for delay" deals. Such deals involve makers of brand-name pharmaceuticals paying other companies to refrain from making generic drugs. The court found that a deal between drug companies involving the testosterone treatment AndroGel did not run afoul of federal antitrust laws. The National Law Journal (free registration) (4/26)
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Professional and Business Development
How to connect with the powerful, the famous and the everyman
No matter who you're trying to connect with, seven basic networking strategies can be applied, Scott Dinsmore writes. Be genuine and persistent, but most important always look to offer something of value. "If you spent 100 percent of your waking hours thinking about how you can help absolutely everyone ... [t]he world will suddenly be in your corner," he writes. Forbes (4/25)
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Are you obnoxiously smart?
Whenever you feel like the brainiest person in the room, remind yourself that you can be smart or effective, Patty Azzarello writes. Know-it-alls only anger people and slow down progress, so learn to consider ideas that aren't yours and appreciate the strengths of others, she writes. Patty Azzarello blog (4/24)
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Business Tips and Advice
Sponsored Content from American Express
PLI News
Free Friday Looks at Worries in the House
At the free on-demand Web segment What's Keeping Corporate Counsel Awake At Night?, taken from Patent Law Institute 2012 (6th Annual), learn about the effects of court decisions and USPTO activity, concerns regarding newly enacted legislation, and other patent issues weighing on the minds of corporate counsel.
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Changing the Foreclosure Litigation Landscape with the 49 State AG Mortgage Servicing Settlement
Millions of homeowners have lost their homes and been subjected to unlawful conduct by mortgage-servicing companies in the context of judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings around the country. This audio briefing, at PLI Online on Monday, will give you the tools to digest the relevant portions of the settlement and to deploy that knowledge to effectively represent your clients.
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Lawyer Life
Sun, sand in Virginia Beach, Va., promise fun for the family
The charming boardwalk stores and inviting waters of Virginia Beach, Va., draw thousands of tourists every year. Travelers can bring their children along to enjoy the sun, the wind and the waves, explore the promenade or visit attractions such as the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (4/22)
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Whiskey: From shot glass to smooth sipper
The Bay Area is quickly becoming the epicenter for American craft whiskey that demands to be sipped, not taken as a shot. As Americans demand more handcrafted, artisanal products, distillers are changing the way they make the amber liquid, creating smoother finishes and using unique ingredients such as microbrewery pilsner. "Like wine, there are so many flavor profiles in whiskey," says sommelier Caterina Mirabelli. "Distillers are making really smooth, more approachable whiskeys that you can sit with and sip for a while." San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (4/25)
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Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
-- John Steinbeck,
American writer
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