Nontraded real estate investment trusts and mutual funds loaded with questionable bonds could lead to the next market debacle, writes Bob Veres. This could reflect poorly on advisers and financial planners, he adds.
Industry consultant TABB Group said in a report that investor confidence in markets was as shaken by missteps in the Facebook initial public offering as it was by the May 6, 2010, flash crash. According to a survey, 46% said the IPO market will be negatively affected by Facebook's offering for the next six months; 39% said it will be harmed as long as two years.
Financial jargon used to be mind-numbingly literal -- but in the run-up to the recent meltdown, bankers embraced euphemisms that helped mask their excesses, writes Harry Shearer. "When things started going bad, the language started getting even cuter," he notes. Now a similar aversion to precise language is plaguing efforts to put the nation's finances back on track, Shearer asserts, and hindering efforts to increase transparency and accountability.
The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board's Accounting and Auditing Policy Committee has released two exposure drafts intended to clarify and ensure consistent application of standards relating to accounting for asbestos cleanup costs at federal facilities.
Business are able to gather volumes of data about their operations and customers, but the key question now is what to do with it all, write two IBM executives. Modern analytics can help companies improve HR, risk assessment and customer service, they argue.