DECISION THEORY is a body of knowledge and related analytical techniques of different degrees of formality designed to help a decision maker choose among a set of alternatives in light of their possible consequences.
CONTINGENT LIABILITY is: (a) A possible obligation from past events that will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the enterprise; or (b) A present obligation from past events but is not recognized because (i) it is not probable that an outflow of resources will be required to settle the obligation; or (ii) the obligation cannot be measured reliably. Some examples: in corporate reports are pending lawsuits, judgments under appeal, disputed claims, and the like, representing potential financial liability.
SPECIAL-PURPOSE ENTITY (SPE) is a financing vehicle that is not a substantive operating entity, usually one created for a single specified purpose. An SPE may be in the form of a corporation, trust, or partnership. Special-purpose entities have been used for several decades for asset securitization, risk sharing, and to take advantage of tax statutes.
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