Monday, April 27, 2009

IBM Survey Predicts New Financial World Order With Shift to Specialization, Transparency and Lower Overall Returns

/PRNewswire/ -- According to a survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value, 90% of financial markets executives and government officials believe the returns of the past are over. The study reveals that as the financial markets industry radically restructures, firms must adapt to a new lower-margin landscape where they will need to specialize around services that clients value rather than continuing to provide a full range of in-house offerings.

The new IBM study predicts significant consolidation in segments wrought with over-capacity such as investment banking, asset management, and wealth management. Enhanced regulation and transparency will also eliminate opacity, with previously high-margin activities becoming commoditized.

The study predicts three specific areas of specialization that are likely to emerge from the new economic condition:

-- Beta transactors: the majority of financial markets firms will
concentrate on utility services (trading, asset management, etc) that
provide the infrastructure required to facilitate market-making in the
same way that water companies provide the reservoirs, purification
processes and pipes required to deliver clean water.
-- Advisors: a smaller number of firms will concentrate on providing
advice - such as wealth management or mergers and acquisitions advice.
-- Alpha seekers: a handful of private equity firms, hedge funds and
boutique investment houses, none of which are 'too large to fail',
will focus on generating high returns from high-risk investments.

"The three trends - towards specialization, client orientation and improved efficiency - are triggering a restructuring wave on a greater scale then ever before, eroding margins and forcing all firms to reconsider their value propositions and their core business models," said Shanker Ramamurthy, Global Managing Partner for Banking & Financial Markets at IBM Global Business Services. "The new industry will not only lack some of the great brand names of the past, but will also lack many of its past characteristics - from excessive risk taking, opacity and leverage, to massively high returns."

For some time, firms found it all too easy to make vast profits by exploiting pockets of opacity in the market and did little to refine management or control systems, to improve transparency or to connect with their clients. Respondents to the IBM survey said that improved client service and efficiency will be critical for competitive survival in a new lower-margin financial order, a finding consistent with other more mature industries. In the future, firms will need 'smarter' systems that can continuously assess their risks and returns across each line of business and adjust their business mix accordingly. At the same time these systems will also enable firms to refine client service through improved understand of profitability by business line and product as well as by individual client.

"Banks have been used to a level of volatility and business cyclicality, and are currently slashing headcount and closing business lines in order to save money, just as they have done in previous downturns. However, in the current restructuring, radical efficiency improvements will be required for survival," added Ramamurthy. "Indeed IBM's analysis suggests that the current wave of redundancies and divestitures will provide insufficient savings and that firms will need to seek further efficiency improvements of 20% or more as they face the need for a level of transformation and radical business model reform not seen in previous downturns."

Although growth is expected to be sluggish through 2012; it will depend on a firm's ability to thrive in an increasingly transparent environment. For example, hedge funds (and their prime brokerage service providers as a result) will come under severe pressure as transparency reveals that the majority of funds are not delivering on their 'alpha promise'. Meanwhile flow businesses (derivatives in particular), passive investments and infrastructure providers such as custodians, clearing firms and exchanges will grow as a result of increased transparency and a movement away from risk assumption towards risk mitigation.

In one of the most extensive surveys of the financial markets industry ever undertaken, and at a time when the industry is facing its greatest period of turmoil, the IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 2,754 industry participants, including 1,076 individual investors and 1,678 executives and public officials, to determine how financial markets firms should prepare for the future. In a report published today entitled "Toward transparency and sustainability - Building a new financial order", it found that respondents were in broad agreement on the need to eliminate complexity and excess and move to a more transparent, sustainable market. They also agreed on the need for effective regulation not only to avoid the mistakes of the past, but also to prevent new ones in the future - but they feared that poor regulation may hinder necessary innovation.

Further findings in the report (available at include:

-- Providers and clients are disconnected 79% of the time (what clients
actually value and will pay for vs. what providers think their clients
value and will pay for).
-- 80% of firms ranked themselves as moderate to poor in delivering on
their brand promises of client-centricity, agility and stability
(brand promises are for multiple stakeholders including clients,
governments and employees).
-- Over 60% of clients believe their provider isn't acting in the best
interest of the client; and nearly 60% of providers agree that they
are not acting in their clients' best interest.
-- The buy side understands client behavior to a greater extent vs. the
sell side - but there is still room for improvement even on the buy
-- Over 90% of executives and government officials believe the industry
will unbundle; apparently 'wealth destruction leads to self
reflection' - the industry is specializing by thinking through 1) what
to do, 2) what not to do, and 3) how to specialize around what the
client values.
-- When asked about the new world order, financial executives and
government officials ranked as number one the need for greater
transparency, second the need to address capital and liquidity and
third the misalignment between firms' incentives and the needs of
governments and individual consumers.
-- 70% of executives are concerned that the government will 'overshoot'
and over-prioritize financial stability at the expense of innovation.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bank of North Georgia Assumes Deposits of American Southern Bank in Kennesaw, Georgia

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bank of North Georgia, an affiliate of Columbus, Georgia-based Synovus, announced yesterday that it has assumed from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approximately $55.6 million in total deposits, including all uninsured deposits, of American Southern Bank in Kennesaw, Georgia.

“We appreciate the FDIC selecting our Atlanta affiliate, Bank of North Georgia, to serve the customers of American Southern Bank,” said Richard Anthony, Synovus Chairman and CEO. “We are confident in Bank of North Georgia's ability to meet the needs of American Southern's customers, and offer them an easy transition into a solid banking organization that is backed by Synovus' strong capital position.”

The one office of American Southern Bank will reopen on Monday, April 27, 2009 as a branch of Bank of North Georgia. Depositors of American Southern Bank will automatically become depositors of Bank of North Georgia. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers of both banks should continue to use their existing branches until Bank of North Georgia can fully integrate the deposit records of American Southern Bank.

Over the weekend, depositors of American Southern Bank can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

“Bank of North Georgia’s team has a long history of serving customers throughout Cobb County and Metro Atlanta. Although it is disappointing to see a bank in our region fail, we appreciate the opportunity to work with and support the FDIC by assuming both the insured and uninsured deposits of American Southern Bank,” said Kessel Stelling, President and CEO of Bank of North Georgia. “A dedicated team of Bank of North Georgia and FDIC professionals will be working throughout this weekend to prepare the branch to open as ‘business as usual’ on Monday morning. This team will be ready to greet each customer and alleviate any questions or concerns that may arise. We look forward to welcoming American Southern Bank’s customers to Bank of North Georgia and Synovus.”

Bank of North Georgia, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, has assets of $5.8 billion and has 46 offices conveniently located in 17 counties throughout metro Atlanta (five offices in Cobb County). The bank is ranked 5th in deposit market share in Atlanta.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Isakson, Conrad Praise Senate Passage of Legislation to Investigate Economic Crisis

Amendment Creates Bipartisan, Independent Commission

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., today praised Senate passage of their amendment to fraud legislation being considered by the Senate that would create a Financial Markets Commission charged with fully investigating the causes of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States. The amendment passed by a vote of 92 to 4.

“When Enron and WorldCom failed at the start of this decade, Congress rushed to legislate and regulate without all the facts. We need to make sure we don’t repeat that reaction as we seek to recover from today’s financial crisis,” Isakson said. “The only way to get an objective evaluation of where mistakes were made is to create an independent commission of experts to ask what went right, what went wrong and what could we have done to prevent this. We need a forensic audit of the laws of the United States as it relates to the financial markets and our economy.”

“The American people – many of whom saw their retirement accounts take significant losses in recent months - demand and deserve to know what caused our financial system to spiral downward so far so fast. We must hold those responsible for this calamity to account,” Senator Conrad said. “The commission the Senate voted to create today will investigate wrongdoing and help establish rules to help shore up our national economy and ensure this never happens again.”

The 10-member, bipartisan Financial Markets Commission will be modeled after the 9-11 Commission, which thoroughly and independently investigated the failures leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and made sound recommendations on where we needed to improve to prevent another attack in the future.

Likewise, the Financial Markets Commission will have 18 months to investigate all the circumstances that led to this financial crisis. The panel will have the authority to refer to the U.S. Attorney General and state attorneys general any evidence that institutions or individuals may have violated existing laws. At the end of its investigation, the Commission will report to the Congress its recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes necessary to protect our country from a repeat of this financial collapse.

This bipartisan Commission will include two appointees each by the Speaker of the House and the Senate Democratic Leader as well as one appointee each from the House Republican Leader, the Senate Republican Leader, the Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee.

The Speaker and Senate Democratic Leader will choose the commission’s chair. The Senate and House Republican Leaders will select the vice-chair. Members of Congress as well as federal and state employees are prohibited from serving on the Commission.

Isakson and Conrad originally introduced legislation to examine the causes of the current economic crisis in January 2009. Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, is a co-sponsor of the amendment as are Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Economy But Were Afraid to Ask

Finance experts from Emory University's Goizueta Business School recently tackled questions from Emory Magazine readers about all aspects of the economy, from housing and retirement to boom and bust cycles.

The full article, and more economic coverage, can be found in Emory Magazine's 2009 winter issue.

Q: If bubbles and crashes are cyclical and (seemingly) inevitable, why do financial experts never anticipate them? Never mind accurately predict, but even expect the end of the latest expansion? Why is “this time” always different?

A: You seem to be asking two questions. The first is why experts can’t predict the timing of economic cycles. The answer is that no business cycle is like the last one, since the structure of the economy and exogenous events (say, weather or wars) are always changing. Until recently, a number of economists were arguing that the days of sharp economic cycles were gone forever!

Your second question seems to ask why experts (and others) often behave as though a downturn in the economy will never happen. Part of the answer to this question is connected to the first: if I don’t know when the end is coming, what am I supposed to do about it? Alan Greenspan’s famous “irrational exuberance” warning occurred in December 1996. If you had heeded his advice and sold then, you would have missed another 75 percent run-up in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Like the clock that is right twice a day, his crash finally came in 2000—but the Dow still stayed above its level of December 1996.

—Assistant Professor of Finance Ray Hill

Q: I will be 65 tomorrow. In such a bad economy, I wonder about the merits of my selling a house vs. a “reverse mortgage” and staying here. The house is too large for me now. But should I wait out the turnaround we all hope for soon?

A: Have you considered renting? The rental market is really (really) heating up. People who would have been in a position to purchase a home are not having luck either selling their own home to acquire the equity needed to buy a new home or getting approval for loans—these people are turning to renting.

Obviously you understand that getting a reverse mortgage doesn’t help you unload the house—your responsibility to repay the “reverse” starts when you do sell the house. Given that the interest rates on a “reverse” are pegged to the rates of T-bonds (which are at or near zero), it is probably not a good time to use this instrument.

I recommend that you rent your house out, rent a smaller, more affordable condo, and talk to a tax accountant about the implications regarding the rental income. You might be able to take care of all your concerns—your house, a smaller living space, and some extra income.

—Assistant Professor of Finance Tom Smith

Q: Is it accurate for media outlets to speculate in real time why the Dow and NASDAQ rise and fall? They tend to attribute the rise and fall to other current headlines (political elections, U.S. automakers, past employment figures). It seems they are mixing up macroeconomic signals and microeconomic practices.

A: The media (and many stock traders) seem compelled to offer their audiences an explanation for every movement in the stock market indices. As you suggest, however, most of the time these “explanations” are simply unverifiable speculation about events that happened to occur at the same time as the rise or fall in the stock market.

Commentators usually couch their explanations in anthropomorphic language, as if the market was a single-minded person. Instead, the “market” is the sum of thousands (millions?) of investors, all processing information and forming expectations in different ways. When an event is significant, completely unanticipated, and its effect is obvious (say, the 9/11 attacks), the media’s explanations will probably be correct—but who needs an explanation from CNBC on those occasions?

—Assistant Professor of Finance Ray Hill

Q: How long do you think this financial slowdown will last? For baby-boomers who were relying on their investments in the stock market to help fund their retirements, and given the slowdown in the real estate market, what do you suggest now as investments for the coming years?

A: Most economists predict the slump will continue through 2009 with modest growth returning after that, but some of the worst-hit real estate markets may take longer to bounce back. Don’t be afraid to invest your long-term money in the stock market, however. Stocks have had a horrible year, but the stock market tends to improve before the rest of the economy, so you’ll miss out if you wait for good news.

A rule of thumb is to invest “100 percent minus your age” of your retirement money in stocks. If you are 60 and nearing retirement, you should have roughly 40 percent of your retirement money in diversified stock funds (with some exposure to international stocks) and the rest mainly in fixed income securities like bond funds. The idea is that at 60, most people will live for at least two more decades, and bearing the risk of stocks will provide added return in the years to come.

—Associate Professor of Finance Clifton Green

Q: Until recently we saw the U.S. dollar depreciate against the EUR, GBP and the JPY, among other currencies. The boost to exports resulting from a weaker dollar was considered one of the few opportunities to help the U.S. Recently, however, and perhaps as a result of the world financial crisis, the dollar has regained some of its value. What is your opinion regarding the strength of the dollar going forward and the impact that will have on the ability of the U.S. economy to grow by becoming more investment- and export-oriented, as opposed to mostly consumer-oriented?

A: The U.S. dollar fell in value at a strong and relatively steady pace from its high values from 2002 right up to September 2008. The weaker dollar meant that U.S. products, both goods and services, were now relatively inexpensive compared to the products produced by many of our trading partners. America gained competitiveness, boosting exports of products. Further, we could now better compete with imports coming into the U.S. market.
Importantly, U.S. exports were also boosted by a second factor—the increased demand stemming from rapid economic growth abroad, particularly in emerging markets (U.S. exports nearly doubled from the recession of 2001 until autumn 2008). This was a crucial spur to the American economy, as this increased demand for U.S. production offset the rapid decline in housing construction starting in the summer of 2006, enabling us to stave off recession until 2008.

Now, however, the crystal ball of U.S. exports is murky, at best. Recession abroad will curtail demand for U.S. exports. Roughly 70 percent of our Gross Domestic Product has been household consumption. Given the frightening job market and losses in both stock and real estate wealth, it is hard to see this sector restoring U.S. economic growth. The remaining solution is a massive fiscal stimulus package of government spending increases and tax cuts—it seems to be the one engine that can pull us out of recession. The good news is that, if this can spur U.S. economic growth, consumption and business investment will return to growth. Best of all, the U.S. can help lead the world to faster economic growth, and the beneficial growth trend in U.S. exports can resume.

—Associate Professor of Finance Jeff Rosensweig, director, Global Perspectives Program

Q: Everywhere you look, the cost of goods, services, and materials has risen during the past two years. Now with lower fuel costs that affect the transportation cost of the goods we purchase, will the mega-retailers, restaurants, and other companies reduce their retail prices or enjoy the additional profits?

A: If just fuel costs were going down, we might see lower prices and higher profits for retailers and restaurants. Since August of 2008, however, the consumer price index has either dropped or stayed constant each month so we have actually entered a period of general deflation (not just lower fuel costs). These declining prices are not an opportunity for higher profits in the retail and restaurant sectors (which are both highly competitive) but, rather, an indication that sales are down and their businesses are really suffering as we enter a recession. Rather than higher profits, we are seeing business failures in these sectors (e.g., Circuit City).

—Assistant Professor of Finance Ray Hill

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Investing for Hyperinflation

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Inflation Association today released the following statement to its members:

"Today, hyperinflation is the last thing on most Americans' minds because they can't see it yet and they don't know it's coming.

Imagine taking a bottle and putting into it a bit of bacteria that you can only see under a microscope. Now let's say this bacteria doubled in size every minute and after 55 minutes, you still don't see any bacteria. But then, five minutes later or one hour since the bacteria started doubling, the entire bottle is full of bacteria.

Massive monetary inflation is already taking place today. Nobody can see it yet because temporary forces have pushed consumer good and commodity prices down, which has tricked economists into believing deflation is the real problem.

However, almost every action President Obama, Congress, and the Federal Reserve take every single day is sowing the seeds for hyperinflation. You need to invest today as if hyperinflation is already here, because once it arrives it will be too late.

People often ask us, how to invest in gold and how much gold is too much to have. There is no such thing as having too much gold. Although you should never put all your eggs in one basket, it is much better to have all of your money in gold than to have it all in U.S. dollars. The U.S. dollar will inevitably return to its true value, which is zero. Gold will always retain its value; unless huge new gold discoveries are made, which is very unlikely.

Many Americans are afraid to invest heavily into gold because of its volatility. Today's volatility in gold is nothing but noise that should be ignored. Many short-term traders buy gold for the wrong reasons. They buy it as a safe haven from stocks, and when stocks rally they sell their gold to buy stocks.

These investors are obviously not aware of the Dow/Gold ratio, which we went over in our last article. Clearly, the Dow/Gold ratio is in free-fall and last time it was in free-fall it bottomed at 1. Meaning, 1 oz of Gold was worth the same as the price of the Dow. We are likely headed there again.

There are many ways to invest in gold. Physical ownership, which means you buy gold bullion in the form of bars or coins and store it yourself, is obviously one option. You won't get rich owning physical gold, but you will at least retain your purchasing power while most Americans lose everything. Remember, as gold prices rise, the gold itself is not increasing in value but the U.S. dollar is losing its value.

One of the problems with buying physical gold is the dealers that sell physical gold often charge large premiums. On eBay, 1 oz gold coins are currently selling for around $1,000 per oz, despite gold's current spot price of $875 per oz. Generally, if you buy a larger quantity of gold in the form of a bar, you will pay less of a premium. But, it might not be a good idea to store gold bars on your own and risk them being stolen.

We believe one of the best ways to invest in gold is through exchange traded funds and notes, otherwise known as ETFs and ETNs. On Tuesday we will be releasing an NIA report on ETFs and ETNs, discussing all of the different gold, silver, and agriculture ETF/ETNs we like along with the risks involved in purchasing them. We will also be discussing ETF/ETNs that allow you to short the U.S. dollar and treasuries.

The way to get rich during hyperinflation is to buy the right gold mining stocks. Gold mining has many fixed production costs and just a 100% increase in the price of gold, could mean a 1,000% increase in the profitability of a gold mining company.

When it comes to gold stocks there are top-tier miners, mid-level miners, junior miners and gold exploration companies. So far we have profiled mostly top-tier and mid-level miners, but our most recent profile is a gold exploration company that we believe could become a mid-level to top-tier miner in the future. Gold exploration companies have the greatest upside potential, but also the most risk. What you need to look for are gold exploration companies that have joint ventures with top-tier miners, which is the case with our latest profile."

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Tier Announces IRS Says Credit and Debit Card Convenience Fees are Deductible for Some Individual Taxpayers Who Itemize

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tier Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TIER) and Official Payments Corporation, its wholly-owned subsidiary, today announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has decided that the convenience fees charged for paying federal individual income taxes using a credit or debit card are deductible for some taxpayers who itemize. This decision is a change from prior policy.

The IRS had previously determined that only convenience fees incurred by business taxpayers can be deducted as a business expense.

In reassessing the position for individual taxpayers, the IRS decided that the convenience fees associated with the payment of individual federal taxes, including payment of estimated tax, can be included as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. However, only those miscellaneous expenses that exceeded 2 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income can be deducted.

Convenience fees are deductible in the tax year they occur. For example, fees charged to payments made during 2009 can be claimed on the 2009 return filed next year.

Since 1999, when Official Payments began processing federal tax payments for the IRS, the company has processed over $9.0 billion in federal taxes. Payments may be made securely with an American Express®, Discover® Network, MasterCard® or Visa® card or by calling 1-800-2PAY-TAXSM (1-800-272-9829) or visiting

Official Payments charges a convenience fee for this service. Taxpayers using credit and debit cards with bonus rewards programs may, depending on their card’s program, earn reward points, frequent flyer miles or money back for paying their taxes. Taxpayers are advised to check with their card issuer for details.

Not everyone who pays a convenience fee will be able to deduct them. Taxpayers first must be eligible to file a Form 1040 Schedule A to itemize their expenses. And, taxpayers must have enough miscellaneous expenses to exceed 2 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income. Miscellaneous expenses include but are not limited to items such as tax preparation costs, job search expenses and unreimbursed employee expenses.

Most individuals still pay their federal tax obligations by check, but last year more than 4 million taxpayers electronically paid their taxes according to the IRS.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Just in Time for April 15… the Pros and Cons of Tax Simplification

Never let it be said that Clayton State University’s New York Times Talks aren’t, well… timely.

The next New York Times Talk, scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 14, will feature Dr. Nikki Finlay, associate professor of Economics in the Clayton State School of Business, who will facilitate a discussion on the “Pros and Cons of Tax Simplification” from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room T152 of the University’s new School of Business building. All of the New York Times Talks are free and open to the public.

“This is a timely talk — one day before taxes are due,” notes Dr. Joe Corrado, campus coordinator of the American Democracy Project.

And, just to provide a timely reminder that there is such a thing as a free lunch, a free lunch is provided courtesy of the New York Times.
For more information, contact Corrado at or call (678) 466-4803.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding, comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Companies See Prospect of Tax Audits as Governments Seek Revenue, According to Poll by Tax Governance Institute

/PRNewswire/ -- As governments seek additional revenue in the current tight economy, senior business professionals say the increased possibility of an audit by taxing authorities is the most significant tax risk facing their organizations today, according to a survey conducted by the Tax Governance Institute (TGI).

Some 30 percent of more than 500 respondents polled during a recent TGI webcast identified the possibility of a tax audit as their number one risk. Also, high on the list of anticipated tax risks were increased regulatory requirements (27 percent) and accuracy of tax provisions (26 percent).

"As countries and states seek additional revenue, corporate tax executives are bracing for a round of heightened regulatory scrutiny," said Hank Gutman, principal at KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, and executive director of the TGI. "Companies know they will need to have documentation in place and accessible to demonstrate compliance with the many domestic and international tax requirements they regularly address in today's global economy."

Companies are also seeking to improve cash-flow in the current economic climate, the survey found. In fact, identifying and increasing the potential use of tax refunds, credits and incentives has been the top tax area of focus by companies in the past six months, according to 37 percent of respondents.

"By being alert to both overpayment of estimated taxes and opportunities to claim credits or utilize incentives, companies can reclaim some much-needed cash, a valuable commodity in today's difficult marketplace," said Scott Vance, principal at KPMG and moderator of the webcast.

The survey also revealed that compliance and reporting has been the tax function most focused on by companies during the past six months, according to 44 percent of respondents, followed by enhancing tax savings (21 percent).

"In difficult economic times, tax professionals can play a critical, strategic role for their enterprises," said Gutman, "by both limiting compliance risks and effectively managing their refund and incentives opportunities."

Among other key findings:
-- During the past six months, most companies (47 percent) kept tax
department resources about constant, with 28 percent reporting a
decrease in their in-house tax resources.
-- A majority of companies (69 percent) view tax risk management as an
integral part of their organization's enterprise risk management
-- Most companies (51 percent) said that reporting by the company's tax
function to the board and audit committee has remained about the same,
while 18 percent said that such reporting has seen an increase over
the past six months.

The Tax Governance Institute currently comprises more than 14,000 members. Launched in early 2007, it provides a forum for board members, corporate management, stakeholders, and government representatives to share knowledge regarding the identification, oversight, management, and appropriate disclosure of tax risk.

The survey was conducted during the Institute's March 12 webcast, "Identifying and Managing Tax Risks in an Economic Downturn." A replay of the webcast can be accessed at the TGI Web site at

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