Off the charts…

September 23, 2004

The WSJ had a great story yesterday on how companies are still burying loads of off-balance sheet debt in the footnotes to their financial statements. According to the Journal, off-balance sheet obligations for the S&P 500 totalled a whopping $482 billion last year. Though I haven’t written a lot about off-balance sheet arrangements lately, it doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. New rules on varialbe interest entities (aka special purpose entities) only mean that companies need to provide greater disclosure on these transactions. But for the most part, they’re still buried deep in the footnotes and investors need to start paying closer attention to this. If you missed yesterday’s story in the WSJ, check it out. I can’t provide a link because it’s a subscription, but it’s well worth reading.

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