Insurers’ losses shine light on swaps accounting

FASB seeking to iron out swaps mismatches that hit MetLife, Manulife and others

The world is getting used to “alternative facts”; at first blush the trend even seems to be catching on in corporate earnings calls.

While the sea of red in US insurers’ annual reports made for uncomfortable reading in February, their respective chiefs painted a rosier picture than the numbers seemed to imply in their accompanying investor communications.

MetLife, for instance, reported a fourth-quarter 2016 net income loss of $2.1 billion. But on a February 2 analyst call, chief executive Ste