Comparing Alternative Hedge Accounting Standards: Shareholders? Perspective
Nahum D. Melumad
Columbia Business School - Accounting, Business Law & Taxation
Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy
Columbia Business School
We study the economic consequences of alternative hedge accounting rules in terms of managerial hedging decisions and wealth effects for shareholders. The rules we consider include the "fair-value" and "cash-flow" hedge accounting methods prescribed by the recent SFAS No. 133. We illustrate that the accounting method used influences the manager's hedge decision. We show that under no-hedge accounting, the hedge choice is different from the optimal economic hedge the firm would make under symmetric and public, information. However, under a certain definition of fair-value hedge accounting, the hedging decision preserves the optimal economic hedge. We then demonstrate that long-term and future shareholders prefer a certain definition of fair-value hedge accounting to no-hedge accounting, while short-term shareholders prefer either approach depending on risk preferences and the level of uncertainty. We speculate about circumstances in which a manager would choose not to adopt fair-value hedge accounting when he has the option not to do so.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
JEL Classification: G31, G32
Date posted: November 8, 1999
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