Standout Stories

Idle Assets… It’s psychologically difficult for management to sell idle assets. Senior executives often rationalize the decision to hold onto assets well beyond their productive usefulness with seemingly valid reasons. But upon further review, often these are merely excuses.

Three particularly counterproductive excuses are: 1) “we don’t want to book a loss”; 2) “we don’t want our competitor to compete with us by using our assets”; and 3) “it’s not the right time to sell.” For each of those rationalizations I offer a counter argument to help management overcome the tendency to hoard. By following these principles, executives can drive their company toward being a leaner and stronger business…read article.

Corruption… After a year in which Department of Justice prosecutions for foreign corrupt business practices fell to their lowest level in nearly a decade, the department is vowing to step up the pace in 2016. And corporate managers who take that pledge seriously have additional reason to intensify anticorruption efforts as a result of new research.

The research, published in the current issue of the American Accounting Association journal The Accounting Review, took advantage of unique access to confidential anticorruption ratings of companies to assess whether bribery pays off in parts of the world where it’s rife.  And the research found that, while going along with corruption does substantially boost local sales, its overall effect on a company’s finances is nil — a poor result, given that the practice could trigger damaging media…read article.

Headlines

 

Only 37% of Retailers Equipped for Chip Cards

The slow pace of implementing the EMV credit and debit card technology leaves merchants open to liability for fraudulent transactions.

 

Honeywell Drops Bid for United Technologies

‘Continuing to try to negotiate with an unwilling partner is inconsistent with our disciplined acquisition process,” said Honeywell’s CEO.

 

Three Reasons to Shed Your Idle Assets

Selling idle operating assets below net book value for cash is at worst irrelevant and at best will boost the value and hence the stock price of a company.

 

Crime Doesn’t Pay, Says Harvard Bribery Study

Corruption does boost local sales, but those are canceled out by the costs associated with bribery, as indicated by return on equity.

 

Valeant Discloses SEC Probe

The pharmaceuticals company also canceled its 2016 financial guidance and delayed filing its fourth-quarter earnings report.

 

Qualcomm Tried to Influence Chinese Officials: SEC

Qualcomm “went to extraordinary lengths” to get officials at government-owned telecom companies to buy its products, according to an SEC settlement.

 

Is the U.S. Manufacturing Slump Easing?

At least half of the 18 industries tracked by the ISM expanded in February — the first time since August.

 

Survey Sees Role for Google in Insurance

Only 34% of customers below the age of 35 reported positive experiences with their insurers, says Capgemini.

 

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