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Bank Accounting Shenanigans -- building a list and details

Kurt Kendis's Profile

I am trying to compile an inventory of bank accounting nuances that are (or were) part of GAAP and have resulted in material and really extraordinary swings in the reported financial results of banks all over the world.  Does anyone know of work that has already been done in this field?  I have read the academic accounting papers in the accounting journals and they are more general and long term.  I am looking for all the gory details  -- many of which make the news like Lehman repo 105 or shifts in DTA and CVA.  Any references will be welcomed and shared. Thus far I have framed the topics like this:

a     How business is (was) booked or recognized                    
b     Impairment calculations                             
c      Valuation of Assets                       
d     Tax Positioning                                
e     Windowdressing
f      Opacity (or failure to disclose)
g      Restatements
h     Reports of criminality
i      Accounting firm malfeasance (recent Deloitte story)
j      Pension Accounting
                 k-    Lease accounting (where appropriate)
                 l.     M&A accounting   (goodwill)


Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

The bankruptcy report on Lehman's Repo 105 transactions [window dressing] is one. Some banks have elected to value their own debt at market [financial instruments accounting permitted], enabling gains as the market has improved. Check the SEC and Federal Reserve websites for other "concerns". Sanford financial is an example of criminality.

Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

Again on repos. MF Global used "repos to maturity" to record sales, not financings, currently permitted by accounting principles. This topic is back on the FASB agenda, and peerhaps they will get it right. The word "repurchase" [obligation] should provide a big hint...all financing.

Pension accounting is complex, but a continually worsening funded status liability is a bad trend indicator. Variability, some severe, in this liability is to be expected.


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