The mainstream media today reported an increase in initial jobless claims this week to 380,000, an increase of 13,000. This was another huge miss for the consensus of conomists, where the central tendency of expectations was for 359,000 initial claims. The conomic establishment continues to prove its worth week in and week out. The question…
What if housing valuations are in a structural, multi-decade decline?
A strong case can be made that the fundamental supports of the housing market– demographics, employment, creditworthiness and income–will not recover for a generation. I…
If the stock market can never crash again due to the Bernanke Put, then why have all the crash test dummies been ordered up?
I know, I know: the stock market will never go down because Ben Bernanke and the other central bankers won’t let it. …
Over the past week you have heard, read, and seen all kinds of noise about the government’s employment report. I even supplied some of that noise. We’ve seen all kinds of analyses explaining why the data was worse than expected, or better than it looked, etc. To the casual observer, it’s all very confusing. That’s…
The ‘risk off’ trade is commanding the markets. A subtle, but interesting example is the EURCHF.
For four days the EURCHF has held to 1/8th percent away from the official 1.2000 peg. It sits at 1.2016 as I write.
Wherever you look, from China to…
Is Groupon the next Enron? … No. It’s worse.
Before the company even went public, there were signs that internal financial controls weren’t up to snuff.
Now I’m hearing refrains of “three blind mice” as “defrauded” investors line up to have their day in court. You might as well say the “dog ate my homework.” It’s not like no one knew this was coming. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made management redo Groupon’s financial statements and accounting practices not once, but twice before the company’s January 2011 initial public offering (IPO).
The first time involved including the cost of marketing in operating income – duh. The second was to force the company to deduct merchant payments from revenues – double duh!
Both are basic accounting principles.
If you spent $2 to gain $1 in orders you have to report that as a $1 loss if you’re dealing with cold, hard cash. Also, if you have $1 in merchant payments, you can’t count that as $2 in revenues, unless apparently you work at Groupon and love accrual accounting.
It’s not like Groupon execs can claim they didn’t know.
It’s abundantly clear to me that the “company” has very little, if any, understanding of REG FD and securities litigation.
(REG FD, in case you are not familiar with it, is short for Regulation Fair Disclosure which the SEC adopted Aug. 15, 2000. REG FD is intended to eliminate selective disclosure of material non-public information.)
But I have a hunch they’re going to find out the hard way.
Groupon’s “Material Weakness”
When the SEC came knocking again on April 2nd the company was forced to restate its Q4 financials. That summarily reduced Groupon’s revenue by $14 million and profits – assuming there were any to begin with – by $22.6 million.
In an official statement, Ernst & Young, the company’s primary auditor, noted “material weakness” with regard to the company’s internal controls. Investors simply noted that they’d better get going while the going was good.
Groupon’s share price tumbled 16.87% Monday alone and is down 55% from its peak.
Is there a Baby Boomer so dim in this land of rackets and swindles who thinks that he or she will escape the wrath of the Millennials rising? The developing story is so obvious that only an academic economist could fail to notice. Here’s how it will go: some months from now, as the financial unwind worsens, and the mirage of gainful employment shimmers away to nothing, and the technocrats of Europe meet…
We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: the idea that the ship will sink is beyond belief.
As we all know, the “unsinkable” Titanic suffered a glancing collision with an iceberg on …
By William K. Black April 9, 2012 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the most infamous savings and loan fraud, Charles Keating’s, successful use of five U.S. Senators to escape sanction for a massive violation of the law. The Senators were … Continue reading →