Other stuff

Another multi-billion fine for Wells Fargo – $3.7 billion this time.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Been a while since I tuned into the shenanigans at Wells Fargo. A mere 100 million here and another 100 million there just doesn’t break into the headlines. Well this time is 3.7 billion. Yeah, billion with a B.

12/20/22 – Wall Street Journal Wells Fargo to Pay Record CFPB Fine to Settle Allegations It Harmed Customers – Wells was able to combine a variety of violations into one big settlement. They closed out a number of investigations with this multibillion settlement.

Range of issues includes “illegally assessed” fees and interest on car loans and home loans. Overdraft fees were improperly applied. Some vehicles were repossessed as a result of the shenanigans. Overdraft fees replied even though there is enough money to cover the transactions.

Settlement consists of $2 billion restitution and a $1.7 billion fine from CFPB, which is a record for the agency.

Relocation to North Dakota.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In June of this year, I moved my accounting firm to Williston, North Dakota. 

My wife and I have been wanting to be near our son and his family. So the simple reason for the move is “chasing the grandkids.” It is also good to be out of California, with increasing congestion, skyrocketing cost of living, and deteriorating economy.

With the wonders of technology, I will be able to serve my clients just as easily from Williston, North Dakota as from Alta Loma, California. Only visible change on the website will be the mailing address.

Revised federal mileage rates for last half of 2022.

The IRS has changed the mileage rates for the last half of 2022.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Starting July 1, 2022, the standard mileage rates will be:

  • 62.5 cents per mile for business use, which is up from 58.5 cents for the first half of 2022 and up from 56 cents for 2021.
  • 22 cents per mile for medical and moving, which is up from 18 cents for the first half of 2022 an dup from 16 cents for 2021.
  • 14 cents per mile for services provided to charitable organizations, which rate was set by Congress in legislation.

Rates were published in Notice 2022-13 – Optional Standard Mileage Rates.

More depressing news on federal judges not recusing themselves from cases. Three resignations by senior officials of the Fed because of their stock trading.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

News keeps rolling in about senior Fed officials trading stock when they have extremely valuable inside information. Tally grows of federal judges who did not recuse themselves when they had a financial interest in a case they were hearing. Oh yeah, Chief Justice Roberts of the Supreme Court had his own failure-to-recuse oopsie.

This round of lack-of-integrity-by-senior-officials news reports, federal edition:

  • 800 more failure-to-recuse by federal judges. The Chief Justice did not recuse himself until after oral arguments in a case where he had a mere $100K personal investment in one of the litigants.
  • Vice Chair of the Fed resigns after news leaks out of timing for his stock trades.
  • Previously, two regional bank presidents of the Fed resigned this past October.

More explanation why the entire supply chain system is overloaded.

The supply chain is complicated. There is no switch you can throw to magically make all those connections smoothly work together again. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The supply chain for everything is tangle up to the extent it will take lots of time to function normally again.

Two articles describing the depth of issues:

  • Analogy of turning off a complex computer system. Some of the hundreds of components won’t work when you throw the ‘on’ switch.
  • Description of the demand side pressure on supply chain. All those trillions of federal dollars sloshing around have created demand which has overloaded distribution systems.

(Cross posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update, because it will be helpful to understand broad supply chain issues for audits during the upcoming busy season.)

American Thinker – 12/11/21 – We broke everything in the name of Covid – Author ran a large IT department at one point in the past. Every few years they had to shut down the entire computer system so that the factory could go through maintenance of the electrical system.

Two former KPMG partners involved in PCAOB inspection leak fiasco surrender their CPA licenses.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There’s an old saying that the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind very fine. In the accounting world the wheels of justice don’t even start to turn until the criminal justice wheels have ground everyone into powder.

Effective this past August and November two of the key former partners from KPMG involved in the PCAOB inspection cheating scandal surrendered their licenses.

Federal mileage rates for 2022.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The IRS has published the reference amounts for mileage rates for 2022. The rates:

Beginning on January 1, 2022, the standard mileage rates for the use of a vehicle will be:

  • 58.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 2.5 cents from the rate for 2021,
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 2 cents from the rate for 2021, and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The standard rate for business is based on their analysis of the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle.  The medical & moving rate is based on variable costs of operation.

Rates were published in Notice 2022-03  2022 Standard Mileage Rates.

Just how much money has the Federal Reserve created out of thin air and injected into the economy?

Got to wondering how much money the Fed has created out of thin air and then pumped into the economy.  The answer is a vague “bunches and bunches.”

How do I know that? Because of my reading over the last few years. I pay attention to such stories (yeah, yeah, I know – I’m weird – pray for me as you feel led). I also am aware the Fed pumped a lot of money into the economy when the pandemic started.

There have been lots of news reports commenting they have been pumping something in the range of $100 billion a month into the economy after their initial round.

As I was thinking about things the federal, state, and local government have been doing to harm the economy, got to wondering just exactly how much fiat money the Fed has been creating, out of thin air of course. Yeah, I wonder about such things.

Answer is again bunches and bunches, and is measured in trillions of dollars.

Graph above shows the amount of total assets on the Federal Reserves balance sheet since around 2003.


Even more inflation on the way.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Damage from the forced economic shutdown is being compounded by the trillions of deficit spending and lots of articles are suggesting there is more inflation on the horizon.

A few of the recent articles pointing toward higher prices in near future:

  • Supermarket billionaire expects 10% run up in food prices in near term
  • P&G raising prices.
  • Two big-time investors are seeing inflation now and expect more.
  • Pressure on car shortages may get worse due to lack of magnesium, which will drive prices higher.

Fox News – 10/18/21 – Food prices will go out “tremendously”: Billionaire supermarket owner– The president of Gristedes and D’Agostine Foods is guessing there will be something in the rate of 10% jump in food prices over the next two months. Rising prices and supply limits are working their way through the supply chain. He expects grocery stores will stop promotions and reduce the range of products they carry.

Wall Street Journal – 10/19/21 – Proctor & Gamble Uses Its capsize to Lesson Impact of Supply-Chain Mess – P&G announced it will start increasing prices of razors along with some beauty and oral care items. Previously they announced they would be increasing prices for diapers and toilet paper. Amount of increases was not announced.

Updates on insider trading by federal judges and senior staff of Federal Reserve.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Previously discussed Financial conflict of interest on the federal bench and stock trading by presidents of regional Federal Reserve Banks. Alternate headline – Is there any group of powerful people who bother to follow the rules?

The Wall Street Journal reported that 131 judges had an investment in one or many stocks of litigants who appeared in front of them.

Two presidents of regional Federal Reserve Banks were trading stocks during the tumultuous early months of the pandemic.

Two updates in the news recently. First, the situation with judges is worse than it appears. Second, restrictions have been placed on extremely senior staff of the Fed prohibiting them from owning individual stocks.

Wall Street Journal – 10/21/21 – Fed Imposes New Restrictions on Officials’ Investment Activities – The new rules will apply to the seven governors sitting on the board of the Federal Reserve, the 12 presidents of the regional Federal Reserve Banks, and an unspecified number of senior staff who work with the rate-setting committees.

Labor shortage about to get worse for hospitals, police and fire departments. Also any company with over 100 employees.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As you read the following articles, keep in mind the LA County Sheriff and the Riverside County Sheriff have both said they will not enforce any vaccination mandate for their staff. In addition, the Chicago police union is in court trying to get and order to prohibit the vaccination dictat.  Officers who are not in full compliance have been pulled off patrol.

Imminent problems:

  • There are widespread firings on near-term horizon for police officers, firefighters, and hospital workers.
  • 90% of companies with over 100 employees expect to lose staff from their already understaffed organizations because of vaccination mandates.

Chronicles Magazine – 10/18/21 – The Impending Mass Firing of America’s Unvaccinated In the midst of an existing shortage of workers and a labor force participation rate that has come close to recovering from the government-imposed recession, there is soon to be another major problem hit the economy: the pending firing of large numbers of people who refuse to get vaccinated or for whom employers refuse to provide any exemptions.

The massive hit to employment is likely to hit police, firefighters, doctors, and nurses particularly hard. The resulting, fully expected consequence will be deterioration in public services.

You cannot turn an economy off, then turn it back on. Here are the results when hubris makes you think you found the magic switch. Part 3.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The supply chain for so many of the things we buy is messed up at every step of the logistics system. Former CEO of Walmart pointed out the steps in the supply chain that are tangled up:

  • Loading ships at ports in Asia.
  • Ships are stuck in the water waiting to unload.
  • Unloading at ports in the US is another chokepoint.
  • There are not enough truck drivers.
  • Not enough labor and the various points in the distribution system inside the United States.
  • Shortage of people to put stuff on the shelves.

Essentially every stage of the distribution channel is tangled up. Biggest thing that could be done to get things moving normally would be more people to work at every step of the distribution system. Labor shortages, in other words.

This post discusses two articles:

  • California has imposed restrictions on trucking which has drastically reduced the number of trucks which can be operated in the state.
  • One article provides us a survey of a dozen other articles, each of which describes a different aspect of the supply chain disaster.

Part one of this series can be read here. Part two here.

The Last Refuge – 10/14/21 – The California Version of The Green New Deal and an October 16, 2020, EPA Settlement With Transportation is What’s Creating The Container Shipping Backlog – Working CA Ports 24/7 Will Not Help, Here’s Why Author spent three days researching reasons for the backlog of containers here in California. Checking resources, researching details, and other research showed some surprising things.

This week’s round of flaming hypocrisy from public officials.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock?

Without even trying to find such news reports, examples keep jumping out which show senior politicians, health officials, and sundry members of the elite caste ignoring the rules you and I must follow. The examples just don’t stop.

The most recent illustrations from the California governor, New Jersey governor, and New Jersey Attorney General are discussed below.

Following is a list of my previous discussions on the ever-expanding list of senior officials who don’t bother to follow the rules they imposed.

Another post published a moment ago asks the question whether these officials really believe the rules they dictate are even required.

California Governor

Yahoo! News – 10/9/21 – Gavin Newsom’s daughter not yet vaccinated as implement sweeping mandate – California has now imposed a mandatory requirement that all students in public and private schools be vaccinated against Covid-19. The diktat was announced for children 12 through 15 as soon as the FDA gave approval for the Pfizer medicine.

The governor has not had his daughter, who turned 12 recently, vaccinated yet. Does he lead by example? Does he comply with the requirement? Not yet.

The second reason is that she has

Instead of being just flaming hypocrites, perhaps our “leaders” don’t really believe Covid restrictions are needed.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Let’s picture a situation where politicians and public health officials believe eating seedless grapes is dangerous, will make a tremendously large number of people horribly sick, and will inevitably kill lots of people.

Let’s pretend that grape-sickness is so dangerous that even inhaling trace amounts of grape-breath from other people will make you terribly sick, with a frightening chance grape-breath will kill you.

Let’s picture said politicians and public health officials banning seedless grapes and insisting that none of us ever eat them again because they are so terribly dangerous.

Now let’s picture dozens of those politicians and public health officials being photographed and video recorded eating seedless grapes.

And breathing on each other.

In public.

With cameras rolling.

Knowing they are being recorded.

USPS to further slow down mail delivery. Intentionally.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Post Office is going to slow down delivery of mail.

This is good information to know for charities, CPA firms, and those few of us who still use first-class mail to pay bills.

Before 10/1/21 the goal for USPS was three-day delivery anywhere in the country. This pushed USPS into sending a large volume of mail by air, which is far more expensive than ground transportation.

The new goal is five-day delivery anywhere in the country. This will allow sending most mail by USPS-owned trucks. Reading between the lines of official statements there will also be increased use of rail.