Friday, September 17, 2010
The SEC today voted unanimously to propose measures that would require public companies to disclose additional information to investors about their short-term borrowing arrangements. The SEC's proposal would shed a greater light on a company's short-term borrowing practices, including what some refer to as balance sheet "window-dressing." The proposed rules are aimed to enable investors to better understand whether amounts of short-term borrowings reported at the end of reporting periods are consistent with amounts outstanding throughout the reporting periods.
Many financial institutions and other companies engage in short-term borrowing in order to fund operations. These financing arrangements can range from commercial paper, repurchase agreements, letters of credit, promissory notes and factoring. They generally mature in a year or less. The additional short-term borrowing disclosure information required under the proposed rules would be presented in the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) section of a company's quarterly and annual reports.
The Commission also voted to issue an interpretive release that will provide guidance about existing requirements for MD&A disclosure about liquidity and funding.