About 300 economists are writing an open letter to President Barack Obama urging him to select Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve. The letter says Yellen, among other things, has shown "consistently good judgment" and was one of the first to sound an alarm about the financial industry problems that led to the 2008 crisis.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants to know why the Securities and Exchange Commission is using 20th-century technology to enforce 21st-century regulations. "Interactive data in financial reporting offers the opportunity for increased speed, accuracy and usability through automation," Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to SEC chief Mary Jo White. Issa accused the commission of using "printouts, pencils and calculators" instead of automating its oversight processes to analyze the vast amounts of data it collects from the industry it oversees. For information on the use of one of the new technologies, eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, go to AICPA.org.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board will propose changes to financial reporting standards for development-stage entities designed to make their reporting more relevant and less complex. Upon the recommendation of the Private Company Council, FASB voted Wednesday to propose changes for both public and private development-stage entities. An exposure draft is expected by the end of October.
Eurozone industrial production fell 1.5% in July from the previous month and was off 2.1% from a year before, thwarting forecasts of a slight gain. Also, the year-on-year figure for June was revised from a 0.3% gain to a decline of 0.4%, suggesting the region is having difficulty sustaining recovery based on exports.
If a corporate executive was pessimistic about the economy in the third quarter of 2013, health care reform and the Affordable Care Act was probably the reason, according to the AICPA's CPA Outlook Index. CPAs expect health care costs over the next 12 months to increase to 6.8%, the highest level cited since 2010, according to the survey. The U.S. economic optimism component of the index dropped 4 points to 62 during the same period. The overall index remained constant at 69.