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FASB Still Applying Duct Tape to Repurchase Accounting

Apparently Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-03 didn't quite hold things together as well as people would have hoped:

FASB's newest proposal is meant to address more recent concerns that current accounting requirements do not yet appropriately reflect a entity's obligations and risks resulting from repurchase agreements, said FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman in a prepared statement. “The Board is seeking stakeholder input on changes intended to ensure that investors are getting useful information about these and similar arrangements,” she said.

One would have thought that the whole "is this a sale or is this a loan" question would have been 100% cleared up, but HOHOHO. No:

FASB learned from stakeholder input that the current rules sometimes still allow an entity to describe a transfer as sales even when the entity still retains the credit risk associated with the asset. […] FASB says its proposal provides clarification around when financial assets to be repurchased are “substantially the same,” and therefore subject to on-balance-sheet treatment, and it improves disclosures regarding the effect of repurchase agreements and other similar transfers on the entity's risk profile.

At this rate the litigation risk in this area will be vanquished in no time.

[Compliance Week]