December 8, 2009

“We’re So Sorry, Uncle…SIGTARP Kashkari”

I don’t know why, but sometimes a news story will remind me of a song. This fantastic lead – and lengthy – artlcle from Sunday’s Washington Post about how Neel Kashkari recently resigned as Special Inspector General of the TARP funds reminded me of this Paul McCartney song. Seven months ago, 35-year old Kashkari was tapped to serve as SIGTARP by then-Treasury Secretary Paulson, hired out of Goldman Sachs (but not “lured” out of there; Paulson didn’t know him – Kashkari sent his resume in cold!).

As the WaPo article explains in great detail, Kashkari and his wife have now moved about as far from DC as possible, living a simple life in a log cabin in Truckee, California in what he calls his “Anti-D.C. Sanctuary” (my brother-in-law used to work in Truckee’s hardware store; I’ve been there and its beautiful, just outside of Lake Tahoe). I don’t blame him. Once you see what goes on inside the Beltway – is it the same on Wall Street? – it makes you want to run and hide. And more often than not, Congress is the primary cause for bewilderment as so aptly reflected by this article excerpt:

Soon he was marking hearing dates on his calendar: “BEATING ON THE HILL.”

But don’t feel too bad for Kashkari. He’ll make a mint if he decides to write his own book (rather than just edit Paulson’s, which he is doing right now). So I would just chalk this up as a companion piece to my recent blog, “Can We Just Go Home Now Mommy?

Corp Fin Updates the “Financial Reporting Manual”

Coinciding with the annual AICPA Conference being held in DC right now, Corp Fin released an updated version of its Financial Reporting Manual yesterday (this Manual is formerly known as the “Accounting Training Manual”). In the past, this was updated every 5 years or so – now Corp Fin is attempting to update it quarterly. This is the third update this year. Technically, this is an internal Staff document – but the SEC makes it publicly available as a valuable informal resource.

The dozen and a half sections marked “updated 9/30” are the ones updated (even though they just came out now). Compared to what I blogged about recently, this update does not include the 25-years worth of content based on meeting with the “CAQ Regs” Committee. That is forthcoming…

Here are some notes from what happened yesterday at the AICPA conference from FEI’s “Financial Reporting Blog.”

Now Available: Fall Issue of Compensation Standards

We just dropped the Fall 2009 issue of the Compensation Standards print newsletter in the mail to subscribers. Subscribers can access it now as we have posted the issue online. It provides timely analysis of compensation action items that boards should be focused on now.

Act Now: Members of are entitled to a free copy of this newsletter. As all memberships expire at the end of December, you should renew now (or try a no-risk trial).

– Broc Romanek