Volume 12, No. 16

 

2003:  Accounting Issues Review & Preview, Part II  Accounting issues receded from investor memory in 2003 - but only slightly. Firms with weird futuristic names like Enron didn't dominate scandal-filled headlines; instead, the biggest accounting scandal headlines of 2003 belonged to a firm with the comforting sobriquet of Steady Freddie. Management's dogged pursuit of a ruler-like earnings stream proved to be its undoing. Freddie Mac's derivatives-driven accounting monkeyshines were among the most notable in recent times because they occurred in an institution that most investors considered to be a conservative sort of business. They weren't the only accounting-related story of the year, however. Plenty more happened in that twilight zone between the worlds of accounting and investing - two worlds that affect each other acutely, even though their denizens act like there could never be anything in common between the two. Read on for a brief tour through the accounting events of the past year, culled from the pages of The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

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