Whining wins!

All of those companies that kept complaining that it was simply too difficult for them to figure out whether some of their off-balance sheet obligations needed to be placed back on the balance sheet won a reprieve from FASB yesterday. One of the many new rules passed in the wake of Enron was a requirement that companies were going to have to start disclosing their off-balance sheet obligations. For companies on calendar year, this was set to take effect during the third quarter, which meant that it would have started showing up in the 10-Qs filed later this month. But yesterday, FASB decided to delay that by a quarter, meaning most companies won’t have to disclose this information until next March or April, when they file their 10-Ks. While many companies had begun to provide more information, even before the new rules went into effect — McDonald’s (MCD) is a good example here — many more were dragging their feet and complaining to anyone who would listen. Now, it seems the whiners won one!