Over the course of the past few months, I’ve reviewed a number of books and papers that were nominated for the 2010 AAA Wildman Medal Award, which seeks to recognize papers that use rigorous research methods to deal with current issues in accounting practice. One of the nominated papers was entitled, “Consequences of GAAP disclosure regulation: Evidence from municipal debt issues” (Baber, W., and A. Gore, The Accounting Review 83 (3): 565-591). I enjoyed reading this paper for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that it provides empirical evidence suggesting that local and state governments benefit economically from reporting their financial results based on a widely accepted, independently developed set of reporting standards (in this case, GASB GAAP). This got me to thinking why it is that our federal government does not have to follow the same financial reporting standards it requires of business. What a different world we would live in today if the federal government had to report its post-retirement health care and pension obligations the same way that public companies and some state governments are required to report those obligations! I’m sure I’m not the first to wonder about this glaring inconsistency, but I wonder if current events may aid those who have long pushed for such transparency in financial reporting. Oh for the day!!  (And just think of all the empirical accounting research that could be done…)