Research

Financial Accounting

Trapped Cash: When is a Dollar Not Worth a Dollar? 
This is a collaboration with Bridget Lyons. This paper is available at Strategic Finance (April, 2014).

In 2013 the concept of trapped cash garnered heightened attention as a result of the Dell acquisition bids and by analysts estimating the value of Apple and the impact of the firms $17 billion debt issuance on share price. So called trapped cash refers to cash and liquid investments held by subsidiaries located outside the United States. Firms with overseas subsidiaries located in jurisdictions where the tax rate is lower than the rates in the US can reduce taxes by attributing pro ts to foreign locales but bringing the cash back to the US subjects the funds to the US corporate tax rate, less credit for foreign income taxes paid. This paper gives an overview of Trapped Cash in the Tech Sector and covers topics related to valuation and legislation.

Trapped Cash at Apple, a Case Study
This is a collaboration with Bridget Lyons.

On May 21, Tim Cook, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. stated “We pay all the taxes we owe every single dollar,” in his opening statement to the Department of Homeland Security’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Cook was called before the Subcommittee to answer for Apple’s permanently reinvested overseas cash. This was the Subcommittees sequel to their September 20, 2102 hearing Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code.” The Subcommittee has taken a keen interest in permanently reinvested overseas cash. In this case study we first introduce the concept of trapped cash and the related legal and accounting issues and then consider the impact of cash on the capital structure, cost of capital and valuation of AAPL. This case could be used in graduate courses in accounting, tax and finance as well as upper level undergraduate courses in these areas.

From Black Markets to Pink Sheets: What are Marijuana Companies
Worth?

With the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington there are now at least three tiers of legality surrounding the plant. At the federal level marijuana is still classifi ed as a schedule 1 drug i.e. highly illegal. However, besides Colorado and Washington where it is
fully legal there are 18 other states where marijuana is somewhat legal. This paper investigates firms operating within this market and (1) attempts to clarify rules regarding the release of audited financial statement (2) examine considerations when attempting to value publicly traded companies
that derive most of their income from the sale of a good that is illegal at the federal level and that have difficulty banking because of the goods illegality and (3) reports on the growing demand for Certified Public Accountants from the proprietors of marijuana dispensaries.

 

Pedagogy

Economics Memes: How to Use Memes to Teach and Learn Economics 
This is a collaboration with Chuck Fisk and Ryan Murphy

Economics Memes (www.economicsmemes.com) is a website where you can contribute memes or use a library of memes to assist you in creating an excellent economics class. A meme (pronounced: meem) “is a concept that spreads rapidly from person to person via the internet usually in a humorous way, largely through internet-based E-mail, blogs, forums, Imageboards, social networking sites, instant messaging and video streaming sites such as YouTube.” We believe memes can be utilized to help students better understand economic concepts. Economics Memes uses crowdsourcing to gather fundamental economic concepts that have been infused with humor and makes them available for use to educators, students and the general public. Educators can get ideas about how to incorporate memes into their classes to either reinforce a concept or to have their students create memes to artfully show their comprehension of key concepts. Students can use Economics Memes to connect what they are learning in the classroom to the real world while having a good time.