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Title:Accounting for Asset Securitizations: Fair Values and Earnings Management
Author(s):Shakespeare, Catherine
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ziebart, David A.
Department / Program:Accountancy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Accounting
Abstract:This study investigates whether the potential for unreliable fair value estimates leads to earnings management. I investigate this question within the context of accounting for an asset securitization, a technique that involves pooling of loans and selling a portion of these pools to third party investors via a Special Purpose Entity (SPE). I hypothesize that firms manage the gains from securitization to meet either the prior year earnings benchmark and/or the consensus analyst earnings forecast. Gains from securitizations are determined, in part, by (a) the volume of loans securitized and (b) the fair value of the portion of pool retained by the securitizer. In particular, for firms close to the earnings benchmark before recognizing the gain from securitization, I hypothesize that managers will manage upward the volume to meet these benchmarks. Once the volume has been determined, managers may manage the assumptions underlying the fair value of the retained interests to increase the gain if the benchmark is not met. However, if the benchmark has been exceeded, managers may manage the assumptions to lower the gain to avoid potential future write-offs of the retained interests. Therefore, I hypothesize that managers manage the fair value assumptions but make no prediction about the direction. I find limited evidence consistent with managers managing the volume securitized to meet the consensus analyst earnings. This limited result is consistent with the events of the period. In August 1998, the Russian government defaulted on its debt, resulting in many investors switching their investments to U.S. Treasury Bills, which made it difficult for many firms to securitize loans. The results also are consistent with firms managing gains upwards to meet prior year earnings targets and managing gains downward to ensure that the analyst benchmark is just met after controlling for the volume securitized. In addition, I find preliminary evidence consistent with new disclosures required by SFAS No 140 being useful at identifying earnings management.
Issue Date:2002
Description:136 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3044219
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2002

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