@Forbes: More GM IPO and Less Litigation Disclosure

My Forbes column appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Go here to read, Accounting Watchdog.

Columns for the week ending November 19, 2010:

GM’s Gigantic IPO: Investors Bet An Old Dog Can Do New Tricks

FT Alphaville reports this morning that, “President Barack Obama said the IPO marked a ‘milestone in the turnaround of not just an iconic company but the entire American auto industry’”.

I’m not so sure.

GM has been reporting profits, but who’s swearing by them? Those results and the projections in their prospectus are unaudited. It takes more than a few quarters and a lick and a promise that they’ve got the numbers right to convince me…

Less Disclosure Means Investors Lose

“Existing disclosures under FAS 5 downright hide, obfuscate, and thumb their noses at the need for investors to know what’s going to happen to their investment.’’

That’s what I told BNA back in 2008.

The battle to prevent more detailed disclosures continues.

Everyone – the lawyers, the auditors and company executives – has been fighting the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) proposals for expanded disclosures over loss contingencies for more than two years. For shareholders, this means, everyone who is supposed to be working for you is fighting additional disclosures that would help you – the investor – know if a legal bomb was about to drop on your investment…