Accounting

Binge then bust

Politicians have recently expressed alarm at a cross-currency swap conducted between Greece and Goldman Sachs in 2001, which allowed the sovereign to reduce the debt it reported in its public accounts. But other examples now coming to light show the…

Unrealised gains out of their hands

Some regulators have suggested profits based on uncertain valuations of complex products should not be allowed to flow into earnings and be distributed in the form of dividends and bonuses – a move that potentially has massive implications for the…

Raiders of the loss arc

Regulators are looking at ways to remove pro-cyclicality from accounting standards, with some advocating the scrapping of incurred loss models in favour of dynamic provisioning

Taking stock

Stock options are losing favour as a method of remuneration. Chicago-based PeoplesEnergy, for one, is to stop offering them altogether. And the onset of new USaccounting rules could well lead others to follow suit. By Paul Lyon

How good is your information?

Fraud, opaque accounting practices and incomplete data are unavoidable. Butare they factored into a credit risk forecast? An emerging class of models doesthe job by assuming incomplete information. Barra's Lisa Goldberg explains.

SPV Ruling: Counting the cost

The recent crop of high-profile accountancy scandals has forced the US accounting regulator to clamp down on the 'creative' use of special purpose vehicles to shift liabilities off balance sheet. Saskia Scholtes investigates the ramifications for firms…

Structured finance caught off-balance

Efforts by energy and finance professionals to stress the difference between legitimate off-balance-sheet entities and Enron’s opaque devices have had little impact, as US regulators rush to clean up structured finance. Maria Kielmas reports

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