Ridout Barrett CPAs Tony Ridout has visited and addressed our students many times. We have placed graduates with Ridout for several years.
Financial Consulting Firms
Aventine Hill Partners, Inc. Beth Hair CEO founded Aventine in San Antonio in 2009. The firm now has offices in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. She formerly was with RGP.
Resource Global Professionals Susan Hough has been to campus and spoken to our students. She is the San Antonio Manager of RGP. RGP and Aventine are not CPA firms. Instead they offer contract specialists for firms needing specific tasks such as compliance or Controllerships.
Acounting Today This is an independent site for accounting news regarding firms and current issues.
Certified Information Systems Auditor CISA Now that everything is literally on the computer and cyber security becomes a prominent issue, I see more and more accounting professionals with this designation. Previously known as the Information Systems and Audit Control Association, it now goes by the acronym ISACA.
Institute for the Study of War The Institute for the Study of War advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. ISW is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.
Stratfor This Austin, TX based site was begun by an ex Texas State Professor.
As markets collapse from gold to oil to iron ore to copper to an exchange itself, FXCM, Now entire countries are imploding like Greece and while Russia is not in tatters as the President says, it is struggling.
this news is ignored while investor focus on a new high in Apple, it can't happen here, right?
I mentioned in my first newspaper column this year that DEFLATION would be the by word for the world economy. Our friends at EWI take a look at high valuations.
And as they say, S & P could not be trusted to do just what they were supposed to be doing, warning of danger with a rating down grade.
Last chance to get prepared for the major moves in U.S. stocks, commodities, gold, USD and more for 2015 and beyond -- Elliott Wave International's free State of the U.S. Markets online conference ends Wednesday, January 28!Register now and get instant access to a free video presentation from market legend Robert Prechter plus all of the great insights from our most recent publications and presentations from our key analysts.
Editor's note: You'll find the text version of the story below the video.
On January 21, one of the biggest financial lawsuits in recent history came to a costly end. The accused, ratings behemoth Standard & Poor's, agreed to a $1.4 billion settlement for "inflating credit ratings on toxic assets," thus accelerating and exacerbating the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.
Settlement aside, there is a far bigger issue here than business ethics or conflicts of interests, which is not likely to get a hearing in the court of mainstream finance.
Which is: The professionals who are supposed to assess investment risks are no better at it than you or I.
Case in point: Think back to November 30, 2001. The world's largest seller of natural gas and electricity has gone from cash cow to dry bone. Its share price had plummeted 99%, from $90 to just under $1. YET-- the company continued to enjoy an "INVESTMENT GRADE" rating.
The company's name: Enron. Four days later, it filed for the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Enron seems like a distant memory, but what about the subprime mortgage debacle? Moody's rating service slashed the ratings of 131 subprime bonds due to higher than expected defaults, in July 2007 -- two years after the market for non-traditional mortgages had already turned.
Spot a trend here? The "experts" failure to anticipate huge trend changes in companies, and in the overall economy. In the first edition of his business best-seller Conquer the Crash, EWI president Bob Prechter wrote:
"The most widely utilized ratings services are almost always woefully late in warning of problems within financial institutions. They often seem to get news about a company around the time everyone else does... In several cases, a company can collapse before the standard ratings services know what hit it."
So here's the question: What are the experts not seeing now that you and I need to prepare for?
What about gold? In 2012, with prices nearly reclaiming all-time high territory, the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing campaign was supposed to keep the wind at gold's back.
"Ben Bernanke has just offered gold investors a... gilded invitation to participate in the greatest secular bull market of our time." (April 14, 2012, Motley Fool)
Then this happened:
The same goes for the 2008 peaks in oil and commodities -- two more "safe-havens" that were supposed to benefit from the Fed's money-printing campaign, but instead prices fell to lows not seen since the 2007 financial crisis.
So, that leaves the remaining outlier -- equities, which have climbed to record highs. And, according to the experts, the path of least resistance remains up. A December 14, 2014 article in the New York Times:
"We don't see a lot on the horizon that could derail the U.S stock market in particular."
Our January 2015Elliott Wave Theorist urges caution with this single chart of the S&P 500's year-end valuations since 1927. Every major peak of the last 90 years landed well outside the normal range: 1929, 1987, 2000, and 2007.
We believe the precarious placement of 2014 sends a similar message: "The stock market and the economy are not in a new multi-decade recovery as economists believe, but very late in a transition phase from boom to bust."
Get prepared for the major moves in U.S. stocks, commodities, gold, USD and more for 2015 and beyond. Register now and you can still get instant access to a free video presentation from market legend Robert Prechter plus all of the great insights from our most recent publications and presentations from our key analysts. Hurry - Ends Wednesday, January 28.
This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline What's Bigger Than a $1.4 Billion Mortgage Ratings Scandal?. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.
An alert student posed a good question yesterday. Why is it that lower oil prices are being blamed for a slower economy ? Sure that is a problem Texas or North Dakota, but surely the rest of the country benefits from lower energy prices?
Good question.The answer is two fold. I have urged you to subscribe to the WSU and we do have links to those articles. The lead in the WSJ today is Strong Dollar Squeezes US Firms.
When the dollar rises , the price of commodities measured in dollars falls. This has a two fold effect. Massive bets have been made on $100 oil. And they ripple through the economy. Here are other articles today that reflect this.
The Heard on the Street column repots Proctor and Gamble, United Technologies, and duPont are al multi nationals hurt by a stronger dollar.
Oil is the premier commodity. As I demonstrated using stock charts in class yesterday, oil has only had about 24 months over $100. Yet the mood was such that investors thought this had become a permanent condition. Now that it is 2008 again, as predicted in my companion site Market Perspective, those bad bets have come to the surface.
Recall that Other Comprehensive Income OCI reports changes in four categories one of which is currency transactions. The Strong Dollar shows just how important this can be.
Here are several previous posts from 2013 on Lance Armstrong
A University of Glasgow Professor takes a look at the body language Lance Armstrong expressed on the first night of his interview with Oprah. I have said as much the same thing but interesting to hear someone outside this country with an academic opinion.
Again the second segment airs at 8 CST tonite, I hope the ethics students are watching.
In contrast, dogs are loyal. As Harry Truman remarked about Washington DC, if you want a friend in this town, get a dog.
Dorothy Rabinowitz takes a look at Lance Armstrong. Ms. Rabinowitz is a long time member of the WSJ Editorail Board.
WE will be discussing Lance's attempt at redemption in the Ethics class this next saturday.
I mentioned in a post yesterday the FDA investigation into Lance Armstrong. This of course takes lots of time and money. As Business Insider asks in the hyperlink, do you really want the FDA spending time and money on this?
A big controversy is the length of time FDA takes to approve drugs as well as the denial of potential life saving drugs here in the US that are available elsewhere. So what is the FDA doing, investigating baseball players an cyclists. Isn't that a job for the Commissions that rule baseball and cycling? Vote your opinion at the hyperlink.
American Sniper has already grossed $200 Million. It is drawing move goers like myself that rarely attend the theater any more. I read Kyle's book and the movie is even more to real life than the book. The movie, which draws on his wife's viewpoint, tells the story of how the experience of four tours and becoming the Number one Sniper changed Chris Kyle.
Clint Eastwood directed and Produced (his Malpaso compnay) the film. I have discussed his success way back in the second month debut of this blog, the Good Bad and Ugly of Film Budgetting.
Eastwood consistently brings his films in on budget and on time. His first fight movie Every Which Way But Loose was the second biggest grossing film Univesal ever hd at that point behind Jaws. I checked and he made it even in 1978 dollars, a dirt cheap $5.2 millin grossing $105 million, now that's successful.
I understand the most frequently heard world in his set is, Next. The scene of the Psychologist interviewing Kyle in Sniper was done in only one take for example. Honky Tonk Man was filmed in less than a month.
One of my research interests is Socionomics. This social science explains that happenings in society are the result of internally generated social mood. What we have here with American Sniper is an outpouring of social mood. The more a movie resonates with existing social mood, the better it will do.
In that regard there were extensive previews of movies out this spring. And I noticed a follow up to the Mel Gibons movies of the 70s. yes Mad Max from 1979. That film came out towards the end of an era of economic stagnation from 1966-1984. It mirrored the horrors of war with the energy crisis as a theme, just in synch with the second oil embargo.
Kyle served four tours in Iraq. The last scen in Iraq dissolves into one of complete mayhem, dust, violence, and the inability to see who is enemy and who is not. For me this was a metaphor for all such guerilla wars; and it summed up what was hapening to Kyle and his relationship with his family and friends. Mad Max mrrors the craziness of war in a place where nothing but a scorpion can survive and death is everyone's companion.
1966-1984 was also a period of no improvement in the stock market. If the analogy holds trued, from a socionomic perspective, this is an echo of what I believe is the current topping of the stock market.
Check out www.themarketperspective.com
American Sniper is R rated for violence and as you can imagine, realistic language of people in war.