Full Disclosure

In: Business and Management

Submitted By riodigie
Words 728
Pages 3
Would someone buy a bike or other item sight unseen? The answer is, most likely not. Why is that? The answer is that most people want to buy value with their purchase, not just the item in question, hence the need for a buyer to feel assured that what they think they are buying is in reality what it should be. In other words, the buyer needs to be assured before making the buying decision that the buyer knows all the relevant facts surrounding a purchase. This is the concept of full disclosure in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP.

If one looks at the long history of the markets with the repeating boom and bust patterns the world has witnessed, one has to ask why this happens. Many brilliant minds have been doing research into what motivates or de-motivates an investor when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Over time one thing has become clear, full disclosure of any significant enough financial facts that may influence the judgment of an informed reader must be made known to the public. The reason stems from the fact that in order for all markets to operate efficiently, its participants must be able to do the same and that is only possible if companies fully disclose any material events that might affect an informed reader’s decision to buy or sell a stock or other investment. The caveat here is what is material? In some cases, the disclosure of certain items would give away trade secrets or other competitive advantages, thus hindering a company’s future growth, profits, and cash flows. At the other end of the spectrum, if a company fails to report a significant event such as a pending lawsuit and the company has a judgment entered against them that drastically affects stockholders equity, then that needs to be disclosed. In this case, it is easy to see that any investor that purchased stock without knowledge of the lawsuit and then the…...

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