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The AAO Weblog covers accounting issues and current events as they relate the practice of investment analysis.

Feb 25

Written by: Jack Ciesielski
2/25/2010 1:38 PM 

Finished writing an Accounting Observer report on the FASB's recent amendments of revenue accounting for "multiple deliverable arrangements," and got to actually spend time really reading the paper and other web content instead of just skimming it. If you've had any interest in the intersection of accounting standards and Congress (the location commonly referred to as "hell," I believe), be sure to read Jon Weil's Bloomberg piece on last year's Congressional  hearing that led FASB to issue watered-down financial instrument impairment rules. A year ago, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle was complaining that mark-to-market accounting was forcing them to report losses that weren't "real" - and a year later, they're suing the underwriters that sold them the securities for nearly $4 billion dollars of refunds on the securities, plus interest.

As Weil puts it: "You know the losses are real when the bank is suing to get its money back."

Worth reading - and remembering. Also not to be missed, if you haven't seen it already: Yale finance professor Gary Gorton's Q&A document on what caused the financial crisis, based on testimony to be delivered to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Eloquent, pointed, understandable - and not a word on fair value reporting.