This paper traces development in the accounting literature, circa 1909–1933, of, dominant support for contra-equity presentation of treasury stock, and relates this overview to prominent current arguments for selective asset treatment. Classic “logical” objection to asset analysis is found to be compelling. Contemporary challenges to prevailing doctrine in terms of “economic substance,” enjoying distinguished lineage from the earlier era, are recast as attractive recording and disclosure proposals. An auxiliary theme is the changing nature of relevant objection of “legalism.” Sources include Hatfield, Esquerré, Montgomery, Paton, Kohler, and (of particular note) Sunley, and current analysts Allan Young and Beatrice Melcher.

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