Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Creative Accounting: Einhorn Greenlight Lehman

Creative accounting rulez - reading a regular stream of items like this maintains a healthy level of skepticism about conventional wisdom:

"Lehman was taking advantage of a new accounting mechanism that allowed it to book revenue based on the declining value of its own debts. In other words, because of the increasingly risky state of Lehman, loans that other firms had made to Lehman had dropped in value, and under the new accounting, Lehman could count this as a gain."

Relatedly, this is a great article about David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital.