It was roughly fifteen years ago that some in the technology space were worried about proposed new accounting rules. The rules would require companies that compensated employees with stock options to treat those options as an expense. Since stock options were (and still are) such a big factor in tech employee compensation, the expressed fear was that the accounting rules would substantially shrink tech company earnings. But would they?
The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins called for calm. Accounting is accounting. It can't alter a company's underlying reality. Jenkins made plain to readers that fears of altered accounting rules were misguided; that investors wouldn't be fooled by an expensing change. And they weren't.