May 2012 archive

SEC Regulations Will Get New Economic Scrutiny

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is paying much greater attention to economic cost-benefit analysis in its rule making activities. Private concerns wishing to alter the SEC’s rulemaking should consider using economic analysis and rationale in their comments to a greater extent than previously. What the Republicans could not accomplish legislatively when Dodd-Frank was first being …

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This Can Be One Really Cruel Town.

The superhero epic The Avengers has roared across movie screens and smashed all previous opening weekends with a US box office of over $200 million.  It is widely believed that it would have made even more if there were more IMAX screens out there  to show it.  To understand the magnitude of this record, the …

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Californians to Vote on the Death Penalty

One day short of 34 years since Californians voted to enact the current death penalty law they may decide to end it.  Supporters have gained over a half million signatures to place the repeal measure on the November 6th ballot. The fact that this has made it to the ballot is quite remarkable.  Not suppporting …

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Big Plaintiff Victory in Revenue Sharing 401(k) Trial

In Tussey vs. ABB. Inc. (Case No. 2:06-CV-04305-NKL, March 31, 2012), a United States District Court for the District of Western Missouri decided an important case regarding common fees and revenue sharing within 401(k) plans. The case imposed extensive liability on the plan sponsor, resulting in $36.9 million of damages, plus Plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees. We …

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Between the Numbers of Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com.com (NYSE: CRM) reported its yearly earnings in February. As a publicly traded company, Salesforce.com is required to issue annual financial reports in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or “GAAP”. While Salesforce.com presents GAAP-based earnings in its SEC filings, its management touts a different metric as the preferred method of measuring the company’s performance.  …

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California and feds now cooperating on independent contractor misclassification

California is now the twelfth state to coordinate its enforcement efforts with the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to combat worker misclassification as independent contractors.  The other eleven states are Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Utah and Washington. Expect more states to follow. Calironia passes Senate Bill 459 to increase the …

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Recent Crackdown Demonstrates the Magnitude of Medicare Fraud

The US has charged over 100 individuals in the largest Medicare fraud crackdown to date.  The falsely submitted billings total over $450 million, approximately $60 million of which had been paid out.  The number of doctors, nurses, social workers and various other support personnel involved in this sweep demonstrates the pervasive nature of the fraud …

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Congress should get out of the way of USPS’s restructuring efforts

On April 25, 2012, the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012 (S.1789) passed the Senate. The legislation has not been substantively considered by the House, and will probably die the death that it deserves. S.1789 is a bad idea because it provides limitations on what the Post Office can do to stem its considerable …

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California’s New High Speed Rail Plan One Step at a Time

The California High Speed Rail Commission has approved a new 2012 Business Plan that sets a revised and more realistic plan for the nation’s first genuine high speed rail line. The revised plan did little to placate the most ardent critics of the rail measure.  There is a segment in American politics that holds as …

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Wal-Mart to Pay $4.8 Million in Back Wages and Damages

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered Wal-Mart to pay $4.8 million in back wages and damages for failing to pay workers for overtime.  The Wal-Mart employees who were affected are vision center managers and asset protection coordinators at Wal-Mart Discount Stores, Wal-Mart Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club warehouses.  Wal-Mart considered these employees exempt …

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