This paper reports the results of a study of the financial reporting effects of off‐balance‐sheet activities concealed by the equity method of accounting. The study examines footnote disclosures relating to equity method investees, offers suggestions for improving the usefulness of those disclosures, and estimates the valuation effects of information in the disclosures. An important empirical finding is that the market places significant negative values on investor‐guaranteed off‐balance‐sheet obligations.

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