Our previous column described flaws in generally accepted accounting principles, in which real things and events are left off the statements because powerful political interests like it that way. Our theme was, "Just because it ain't on there doesn't mean it ain't there." Examples include options expense, off-balance-sheet leases, pension accounting, research and development assets, and unrealized gains and losses.

How disappointing it is that the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the rest of the financial community keep overlooking these shortcomings. Only an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude could allow these huge holes to continue unchallenged.

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