Cover image for Unseen wealth : report of the Brookings Task Force on Intangibles
Unseen wealth : report of the Brookings Task Force on Intangibles
Blair, Margaret M., 1950-
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Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
x, 124 pages ; 23 cm
Introduction -- The problem -- Barriers to better information -- The role of government -- Addressing the problem of measurement -- Improving measurement and reporting -- Improving intellectual property rights protection -- Policies affecting resource allocation -- Conclusions.
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HF5681.I55 B55 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Intangibles are harder to measure, harder to quantify, often more difficult to manage, evaluate, and account for than tangible assets. There is no common language for sharing information about intangible sources of value, and the language used tends to be descriptive rather than quantitative and concrete. Unseen Wealth stresses the importance of developing standards for identifying, measuring, and accounting for intangible assets, and recommends actions to government and business for improving the quality and quantity of available information about intangible investments. The book articulates a three-pronged set of reforms to help companies construct better business and reporting models, improve the quality of financial reporting, and clarify intellectual property right laws. Unseen Wealth was developed by the Brookings Task Force on Intangibles, which includes business leaders, consultants, accounting professionals, economists, intellectual property lawyers, and policy analysts.

Author Notes

Margaret M. Blair is the Sloan Visiting Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, research director of the Sloan-GULC Project on Business Institutions, and a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 The Problemp. 7
The Importance of Intangiblesp. 9
Measurement Difficultiesp. 15
Consequences of Poor Measurementp. 23
2 Barriers to Better Informationp. 33
Accounting Profession Concernsp. 35
Business Community Concernsp. 37
Investment Community Concernsp. 41
Are the Barriers Insurmountable?p. 43
3 The Role of Governmentp. 45
Determining Property Rightsp. 45
Research and Setting Standardsp. 47
4 Addressing the Problem of Measurementp. 49
Characterizing Measurement Problemsp. 51
5 Improving Measurement and Reportingp. 57
RandD and Organizational and Human Capitalp. 57
Financial Reportingp. 66
6 Improving Intellectual Property Rights Protectionp. 73
Patentsp. 74
Trademarksp. 77
Trade Secretsp. 81
Copyrightsp. 83
7 Policies Affecting Resource Allocationp. 85
Taxationp. 85
Capital Marketsp. 88
Federal RandDp. 89
8 Conclusionsp. 91
Appendix The Brookings Task Force on Intangiblesp. 95
Notesp. 101
Indexp. 121