Hidden Value(s)

A recent Brookings Institution task force report, titled "Unseen Wealth," describes the difficulties in recording intangible assets on the balance sheets of public companies. The report states, "As the United States moves into the 21st Century, the factors that have become more important to economic growth and societal wealth are ‘intangible’ or ‘non-physical’ such as intellectual capital, research and development, brand names and human capital... Intangibles are harder to measure, harder to quantify, often harder to manage and harder to define than tangibles."