In MasterCard Inc.'s latest quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Delaware-headquartered credit card payment system announced that a 1999 synthetic lease for its Winghaven global technology and operations center might prove to be slightly less than priceless. Consolidation of the special purpose entity (which built and owns the property) back into MasterCard Inc. could put $154 million in debt back onto the company's balance sheet.

While hardly a crippling blow to a nearly $1 billion corporation, such announcements are nonetheless a growing presence in quarterly reports, as companies seek to diligently outline any possible fallout from synthetic leases to shareholders pending the final opinion of the Financial Accounting Standards Board regarding the consolidation of SPEs.

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