From private investors to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to President Bush, just about everyone is slashing back lately at the thicket of corporate accounting and disclosure issues sown by Enron and cultivated by the likes of WorldCom. And while no one has a problem with flushing out the crooked dealers, at least one market participant feels that some real estate players, with some help from the media, have been too quick to run roughshod over one instrument - the synthetic lease - in the process.

As reported in Private Placement Letter (ASR's sister publication), FASB has been on the front lines of the effort to prevent future Enron-esque abuse of off-balance-sheet vehicles as a smoke screen to conceal debt, working to adopt stricter rules concerning when a special purpose entity should be consolidated into its parent.

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