Swaps and Fixed Rates for Fancy Digs

March 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Disgruntled Sociologist is pleased to learn, from the learned commentators at Crooked Timber, that the seemingly dramatic changes in ASA’s net worth during 2008 — due to changes in the market value of interest rate swaps — is apparently due to the accounting treatment of presumably benign actions. Apparently what the ASA was doing, per their newly released financial statements, was switching their variable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage (so to speak).

This should not detract from a broader point being made: the ASA’s expenses are high, and have grown substantially over the past five years. $10M is a lot to spend on an office suite when it seems to The Disgruntled Sociologist that almost all the work of the ASA could be done in a suburban Scranton office park. (And let us not forget the downside risk of purchasing commercial real estate.)

Since the annual meetings are held in swanky locations, the only sociologists who regularly enjoy the K-Street location are … who exactly?  (From what TDS understands, the Council holds its meetings offsite and not in the offices.)

Surely the oh-so-important lobbying activities of the ASA could be accomplished at substantially lower cost by flying people in for a few days if need be.


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