A balancing act

Off-Balance-Sheet Vehicles


Seven years after

Enron's network of loss-concealing subsidiaries was exposed, off-balance-sheet vehicles are in the news again. In April, Robert Herz, chairman of the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) warned that shifting subprime mortgages into off-balance-sheet vehicles had created "ticking time bombs" - concealing the extent of banks' liabilities and making it legally difficult for them to restructure loans once the subprime crisis began.

The Bank for International Settlements

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