This assignment, which involves accounting for a simple bond refunding, achieves several objectives. First, it reinforces basic concepts in bond accounting, such as cash flows, book values, interest expense and gains/losses from early extinguishment. Second, it leads students to critically analyze an article from the popular business press. Third, it illustrates many important issues in financial accounting, such as earnings management, the relationship between earnings and stock prices, and economic consequences. Students are asked to read “Paper Money” from Forbes' “Numbers Game” column. The article describes General Host's bond exchange offer and questions the recognition of a gain in such circumstances. The case assignment requires students to carefully analyze the bond exchange and to question many of the authors' assumptions about the economic impacts of the exchange offer. I have used this case successfully in undergraduate intermediate accounting classes and in an introductory financial accounting course for M.B.A. students.

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