Treasury Notice 2008-83 nixed in House economic recovery bill

The House passed an economic stimulus bill today. It includes the slap-down of Treasury Notice 2008-83 that the House Ways and Means Committee had previously included. I hope the conference with the Senate disallows all reliance on the notice.

H.R.1

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)


PART 4–CLARIFICATION OF REGULATIONS RELATED TO LIMITATIONS ON CERTAIN BUILT-IN LOSSES FOLLOWING AN OWNERSHIP CHANGE

SEC. 1431. CLARIFICATION OF REGULATIONS RELATED TO LIMITATIONS ON CERTAIN BUILT-IN LOSSES FOLLOWING AN OWNERSHIP CHANGE.

    (a) Findings- Congress finds as follows:
    • (1) The delegation of authority to the Secretary of the Treasury under section 382(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 does not authorize the Secretary to provide exemptions or special rules that are restricted to particular industries or classes of taxpayers.
    • (2) Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 is inconsistent with the congressional intent in enacting such section 382(m).
    • (3) The legal authority to prescribe Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 is doubtful.
    • (4) However, as taxpayers should generally be able to rely on guidance issued by the Secretary of the Treasury legislation is necessary to clarify the force and effect of Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 and restore the proper application under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 of the limitation on built-in losses following an ownership change of a bank.
    (b) Determination of Force and Effect of Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 Exempting Banks From Limitation on Certain Built-in Losses Following Ownership Change-
    • (1) IN GENERAL- Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83–
      • (A) shall be deemed to have the force and effect of law with respect to any ownership change (as defined in section 382(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) occurring on or before January 16, 2009, and
      • (B) shall have no force or effect with respect to any ownership change after such date.
    • (2) BINDING CONTRACTS- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), Internal Revenue Service Notice 2008-83 shall have the force and effect of law with respect to any ownership change (as so defined) which occurs after January 16, 2009 if such change–
      • (A) is pursuant to a written binding contract entered into on or before such date, or
      • (B) is pursuant to a written agreement entered into on or before such date and such agreement was described on or before such date in a public announcement or in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission required by reason of such ownership change.

Update: This made it through the Senate and conference session, and was signed into law by President Obama.

Inauguration of a Metaphor

Joseph Campbell once said that if you want to change the world you must change the metaphor. Campbell spoke of religion but that wisdom seems to transfer to politics as well.

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, is above all a metaphor. He is a metaphor for everything and anything you or I want him to be. He is a metaphor for, among other things, hope, dreams no longer deferred, a melting pot, America, the unknown, and the anti-christ. As a metaphor, like Santa Claus, he has huge expectations placed on him, a nation who believes in him, and the world watching. Regardless of who Obama really is, through the power of metaphor we have projected upon him what we want and need him to be.

Good luck Mr. Obama. We have changed the metaphor; here’s to changing the world for the better as the result.

General Motors: irresponsible

I have just one word to describe General Motors: “irresponsible.”

GM says it could fail in a matter of weeks – Los Angeles Times.

The depths of GM’s troubles were brought fully to light in its proposal, released late Tuesday. In November, GM said it could run out of operating cash sometime in the first six months of 2009. Now it appears that GM could fail in a matter of weeks without immediate aid.

“There is no Plan B,” said Fritz Henderson, GM’s president and chief operating officer, who faces a 30% pay cut himself. “Frankly, the shortage of liquidity does focus the mind.”

Together, the Big Three U.S. automakers are asking Congress for $34 billion in low-cost government loans — $9 billion more than the roughly $25 billion the automakers had sought just last month.

The executive team and board of directors has been asleep at the wheel, literally and figuratively. This has been a long-time coming and they act like they were broadsided with no warning.

First, how can the company not have a plan B? Bankruptcy is intended for exactly the predicament it finds itself in. Second, the burn rate at the company should have signaled years ago that something was wrong and dead weight and fat needed to be trimmed. Third, a 30% paycut of a million bucks is not nearly enough for executive misfeasance or malfeasance; he executive team and board need to be replaced in return for Federal assistance.Anyone else running a business like GM would have been canned long ago.

Perhaps GM managerial staff should be paid according to the Federal schedule.


keys in the trunk

Have you ever done this?

1) locked your keys in the trunk?

2) locked your keys in the trunk twice?

3) locked your keys in the trunk of two different cars on the same day?

Well, I fall into the last camp. How, I don’t know. But I did. I locked my keys in the trunk of my car this morning when getting something out. I then locked my keys in the trunk of my wife’s car when I got to work. This was the first time I’ve locked keys in the car in about 18 years so it all evens out in the end.

Even then, my day wasn’t half bad. A munchkin visited me at work (he enjoyed the visit), I had steelhead (nice dark pink, too), and wasn’t tired for class (tax policy will be an excellent class this semester).

the sharks are schooling

Now for the hard part. My semester begins Tuesday. I am taking Water Law, Tax Policy, and Negotiation.

Mark Twain comes to mind each time a semester begins: “I never let schooling interfere with my education.” It is something to live by, even in professional school.

btw: Happy b-day CS!