The mainstream financial press went to town last week when Ford Motor Co. indicated it could be forced to consolidate its asset-backed commercial paper conduit, FCAR, onto its balance sheet. Ford's $1.7 billion in exposure - as reported by the Financial Times - was enough to inspire a half/dozen copycat headlines from various news outlets around the world.

All the while, the FT tally was shy by more than $10 billion. In actuality, Ford could be forced to consolidate as much as $12.2 billion in assets associated with FCAR, should the conduit maintain that level of receivables following the June 15 implementation deadline.

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