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Oscars Neglect “Margin Call”—But Film Offers Solid Insight, Claims NYT Columnist

The Unjustly Neglected "Margin Call"  Ross Douthat at the New York Times thinks the Oscars missed crediting an important film this year: Speaking of Noah Millman, reading his Oscar post reminds me that my own comments on the year in movies neglected to mention what was perhaps the most striking injustice of the Best Picture nominations: The lack of any love for “Margin Call,” which was, as Millman writes, “ ...

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Digital Forensics & Corporate Investigations

Corporate Investigations Increasingly Aided with Digital Forensics Digital investigators can do more than retrieve data from devices. They can also use data to reconstruct past events to explain how computers were used to perpetrate wrongdoing.  Info4Security has introduced a new column, the Forensic Technologist, which will be written by Ernst & Young’s Simon Placks and explore how computer forensics a ...

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Wall Street’s Sexiest Model: Black-Scholes

Blame Disaster on Bad Inputs. Black-Scholes Works. The last few years have given us plenty of reasons to hate financial models. Models that promised to increase efficiency and manage risk became substitutes for common sense and justifications for greed. The real estate bubble was of course justified by them. Yet people at hedge funds and trading firms, using models to mint money, remain passionate believers ...

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SEC Queries Private Equity Valuations

Increased Scrutiny for Private Equity Valuations The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has started an informal inquiry of private equity firms, asking for a broad range of documents on how the funds value assets and who invests in them, reports Bloomberg's BusinessWeek.   The agency’s Los Angeles office last year sent letters to several firms asking for details on fund investments and the valuation of ...

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Family Law: Income Streams, Valuation, and Divorce

How Divorce Can Affect Business Valuation Stanley Morganstern at the Ohio Family Law Observer reports that recent case in Ohio illustrates the difficulty of valuing business assets in a divorce. Courts should avoid "double dipping," or counting a business' income toward valuation and spousal support. Instead, judges are to separate current and future income from the business' material assets before making t ...

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Private Equity & Middle Market

Why PE and the Middle Market Tied the Knot Robert Teitelman at The Deal explains:  . . . This is the first of six special issues The Deal magazine will dedicate to the middle market in 2012, with a particular emphasis on a participant that, over the past four decades, emerged from that vast and diverse pool of midmarket companies: private equity. The current political debate tends to overlook the fact that ...

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The IRS’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ are Getting Old

The IRS's 'Dirty Dozen' are Getting Old     So opines Gail Perry at AccountingWeb:  I for one am getting pretty bored with the tax scams on this list - they hardly change at all from year to year. It's time for some creative criminals out there to come up with something new. From the comments section: My brother ran a Schedule C Anvil Repair Shop from his garage in order to claim home office deduction, depr ...

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The Ten Biggest Family Businesses in the U.S.

The Ten Biggest Family Businesses in the U.S. Business Insurance lists them: Wal-Mart Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer and most successful family business of all time. In 1962, founder Sam Walton took his knowledge of discount retailing and opened the first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Ark. It wasn't long before Sam expanded his business and opened up hundreds, then thousands of stores worldwide. After ...

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Accounting for Nuts: Blame a misalignment of incentives for the scandal at Diamond Foods.

Accounting for Nuts:  Blame a misalignment of incentives for the scandal at Diamond Foods.    The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins opines:  "Business people talk about "alignment of incentives." The lesson here may concern a peculiar misalignment of incentives."  He explains: Here's the executive summary: Diamond was a cooperative owned by California walnut growers until it became a publicly traded comp ...

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