A possible obligation in the form of a payment arising from past business transactions. It cannot be precisely determined at present because – its realization must first be confirmed by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events, whereby these future circumstances are not completely under the control of the company, or – the obligation has not been recognized as a liability because it is not probable that an outflow of resources will be required to settle the obligation, or – the amount of the obligation cannot be estimated with sufficient reliability. – The IFRS/IAS rules explain each of these three cases in detail. – In connection with the Stability and Growth Pact, there have been many complaints that guarantees issued by governments in the wake of the financial crisis are not included in the calculation of Maastricht ratios, even though they can become a significant fiscal burden against the backdrop of an aging population. – See guarantee, surety, European Financial Stabilization Facility, contingent claim, warranty, accommodation obligation, letter of comfort. – Cf. Deutsche Bundesbank Monthly Report of May 2009, p. 25 (contingent liabilities would have to be included).
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