Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bank Bailouts for Bucks? or Watch Those Footnotes!

TARP Bailout recipients Goldman Sachs and Citigroup show first quarter profits, but critics assert, with cause, that [legal] accounting games were the reason for the rosy results. Goldman Sachs showed a $1.8 billion profit which was heavily based on changes in "mark to market" rules and a revised fiscal year. Citi's $1.6 billion income included a one-time gain from the opportunity to buy back its own discounted debt, relaxed valuation of impaired assets and trading income heavily augmented by "fair value" rules changes.

The bank results again demonstrate the importance of reading the notes to the financial statements and not only the statements themselves. Additionally, the value of blogs such as "Found in the Footnotes" and "Analyst's Accounting Observer" becomes clear when "barely legal" financial reports (accounting pornography?) are issued.


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