The Great Debate

from Rolfe Winkler:

New off-balance sheet rule: Little impact on Wells

January 21, 2010

The new accounting standard requiring banks to bring assets back on balance sheet had a negligible impact on Wells Fargo. Despite having over $2.0 trillion of off-balance sheet assets, Wells consolidated just $10 billion of risk-weighted assets when the new standard took effect January 1. (See slide 17 in the bank's supplemental earnings release)

from Rolfe Winkler:

Ending the off-balance sheet charade

September 17, 2009

Investors have more than one reason to celebrate two new accounting rules. Besides forcing banks to fess up to the risks they are carrying on their books, new standards for off-balance sheet assets will make it harder for companies to inflate earnings artificially.