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A story that hasn’t yet made it to the pages of the Wall Street Journal, to any other business or trade press, or to any of the reports of various outfits that rely on flawed data to publish glossy reports with misguided “insights”: how the already weak corporate profits for 2008 have supposedly been overstated by billions and billions of dollars via reference to expected returns on pension assets in the calculation of net periodic pension cost. Those inevitable articles and reports typically to be accompanied by rants alleging the existing accounting rules to be illogical and archaic. But absent of explanations why we never saw a solitary complaint on the flip side the past few years, when using actual pension asset returns in lieu of expected returns on plan sponsors’ income statements would have significantly improved corporate profits for those years.

(Remember, as I’ve previously disclaimed, posts such as this represent efforts of my favorite pastime. My formal work does not involve any of this, and none of it represents any position or comment that should in any way be attributed to my employer. Likewise, as always, it represents general personal impressions and should not be treated or used as formal professional advice.)

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Written by macheide

22 November 2008 at 7:39 am

Posted in άctuary

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