Volume 10, No. 7

 

Accounting For The Other White Meat (Equity Derivatives):  Put and call options, forward contracts, call warrants and other derivative contracts on a company's own equity are reminiscent of the old saying farmers have about hogs: "we use everything but the squeal." Companies trying to wring the most out of their balance sheet often "derivatize" anything an investment banker will suggest, right down to making bets about the direction of their stock price over extended time periods. In that sense, equity derivatives are"the other white meat." Balance sheet optimization - or outright stock speculation? The accounting for the other white meat makes it hard to tell. That's because there really is no accounting for it, despite the voluminous Statement No. 133. That information vacuum will change in June 30 balance sheets: a little-noticed Emerging Issues Task Force consensus will make visible the assets, liabilities or equity created by these contracts.

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