What are the Banks Hiding?

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) just postponed a rule that would require that off balance sheet entities* onto their books for one year.

They were getting a lot of pressure from banks and their allies on Congress about this.

The question is: what are they hiding, and at least part of the answer is:

Many lenders made profits in the run-up to the subprime- mortgage crisis by selling pools of loans to off-balance-sheet trusts known as qualified special purpose entities, or QSPEs, which repackaged the pools into mortgage-backed securities. Some banks then sold those securities to other off-balance-sheet vehicles they sponsored, such as so-called asset-backed commercial paper conduits.

*Things like “mortgages and credit-card receivables.”

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