March 2012 archive

Mayflower Caught Pick-Pocketing the U.S. Government

A recent article in Fraud Magazine, “Mayflower moved millions out of the government’s pocket” by Robert Blair, highlights the importance of continuous auditing and integrated systems.  In this case, a team of auditors were tasked with auditing payments made on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”).  The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (“DFAS”), …

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Former CEO recognized for whistleblower action

Michael Woodford has been recognized with the 2012 Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (“ACFE”) for the whistleblower actions that allegedly led to his ousting from the company.  As the new CEO of Olympus Corporation, Mr, Woodford exposed alleged fraud at his own company.  The allegations involved improper accounting attributed to …

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Another Ponzi Scheme Conviction

Twenty years is a long time to keep a Ponzi scheme going, but it finally caught up with R. Allen Stanford, the Texas tycoon who was recently convicted on 13 of the 14 counts brought against him.  Stanford, previously among America’s wealthiest with an estimated net worth of $2 billion, now faces more than 20 years …

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Choosing Your Monopoly® Investment Wisely

The popular board game, Monopoly, offers an opportunity for a whimsical lesson in selecting investments based on forecasted performance. The objective of the game is to accumulate as much money as possible by buying real estate and charging opponents “rent” when they land on your property. Much of the game is determined by chance, but …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/03/choosing-your-monopoly-investment-wisely/

FTC Releases Annual Report of Consumer Complaints

The Federal Trades Commission (FTC) released its annual report of consumer complaints (See entire report here).  The study indicated that more than 1.8 million complaints were received in 2011, which was a 24 percent increase from 2010.  The following are the top 10 types of complaints received by the FTC in 2011:   Rank Category …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/03/ftc-releases-annual-report-of-consumer-complaints/

Duran class action reversal not near as important as suggested

In California multiple (usually defense-oriented) articles are being published about the importance of a class action trail reversal in re: Duran v. US Bank National Association, California Court of Appeal, 1st Appellate Dist., (February 6, 2012). The articles incorrectly claim that statistical sampling cannot be used to prove liability in a class action case. The …

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Apple Requests Some FRAND-ly Advice

Apple is once again able to sell iPads and iPhones in Germany.  Apple Inc. recently won a German appeals court ruling that at least temporarily lifts an injunction that prohibited the sale of some iPad and iPhone models.  Apple allegedly infringed on certain technology from Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. that a standards setting board identified …

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Is Time Magazine Right that Latinos Will Decide this Year’s Election?

This week’s cover story on Time Magazine argues that Latinos will choose the next president in 2012. One of the core reasons offered is that Latinos comprise sizeable minorities in key battleground states like Nevada, Arizona and Florida. I use the official Federal Commission report and US census data to explore whether Latinos are indeed …

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Can the Price of Transporting Goods Predict Future Economic Output?

The Baltic Dry Freight Index (BDI) is considered a leading economic indicator by economists and investors. The Index measures the daily shipping rates for commodities like iron ore, coal, building materials, and grains, and therefore acts as a proxy for the supply and demand of raw materials. As the demand for raw material increases, the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2012/03/can-the-price-of-transporting-goods-predict-future-economic-output/

Will the Jobless Exhaust the Disability Trust Fund More Quickly?

In recent months, many have been cheering the declining unemployment rate.   According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) has steadily declined from 9.1% to 8.3% since August 2011.  After an unprecedented prolonged recovery time that continues to this day, any and all positive economic indicators are received with more than usual …

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