Carnegie: En studie av tillämpningen av "verkliga värden"
Sammanfattning: A recent development in the field of accounting has been an increasing use of fair values in financial reporting. In 2005, this development was reinforced in Sweden by the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards. The aim of this thesis is to discuss the problems related to the use of fair values, through a case study of the Swedish investment bank Carnegie. In May 2007, Carnegie announced that the result had been overly stated by 630 MSEK, due to the valuation of derivatives within the trading department. The empirical material consists of documents produced in the legal process between Carnegie and the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. By applying a theoretical framework focused on the evaluation of economic information, we have identified a number of problems related to fair value accounting for derivatives in Carnegie. Firstly, when fair values consist of market prices in non active markets, they do not necessarily represent current economical circumstances. Secondly, such market prices are not objective since they are not determined by numerous independent market participants. Furthermore, when the fair value is determined by a theoretical model similar problems arise. In particular, theoretical values are sensitive to assumptions about the future, which may be subjective. In conclusion, an accounting system based on fair values will cause problems in the absence of active markets. This is caused by the difficulty to find values that possess the same characteristics as market prices in active markets.
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