Cardinals get finance brief but no conclave date
As reported by Bloomsberg Businessweek, the cardinals in Rome for the conclave to elect the next pope received a briefing on the Holy See’s finances Thursday amid questions about the Vatican bureaucracy and continued suspicions about its bank.
The heads of the Vatican’s three main financial offices briefed the cardinals as required by rules covering the transition period between papacies, during which cardinals meet daily to discuss the problems of the church and the qualities needed in a new pope.
10 Worst States in the U.S. for Taxes
According to the Fiscal Times, with the passage of the fiscal cliff deal and the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, most Americans will be paying more taxes this year – but the hike could hurt more depending on what state you live in.
The Tax Foundation’s 2013 State Business Tax Climate report recently ranked the best and worst states for taxes to enable business leaders, policymakers and taxpayers understand how their states measure up. The 10 best include low-population, western states including Wyoming and South Dakota, as well as a few eastern states like New Hampshire and Florida. And what did they have in common? They had low rates or lacked one of the five major taxes – individual income, corporate, property, sales, or unemployment insurance.
Apples and Oranges
According to the Economist, the financial crisis left many banks and other financial institutions gasping. Their balance-sheets, when bad times hit, suddenly looked much worse than investors had been led to believe. Since then, regulators have worked to make banks account for their loan portfolios in a way that makes clear just how much those loans are worth.
The world’s two big accounting-standards setters are America’s Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Boards (IASB), whose standards are used by dozens of countries, including almost all of Europe. After the crisis, FASB considered forcing banks, and others who hold loans and debt securities on their balance-sheets, to book all those assets at market rates (so-called mark-to-market accounting).
Banks Should Recognize Credit Losses Earlier, IASB Says
As reported by Bloomberg Businessweek, banks should be required to recognize losses on credit portfolios before the assets go into default, an international accounting standards body said today.
The measures, known as the expected loss model, would mark a shift from the incurred loss model, which allows banks to wait until “financial assets are close to default,” the International Accounting Standards Board said in a report. Banks would have to recognize losses on portfolios as they deteriorate in quality, under the proposals.