This excerpt taken from the EQR 8-K filed Dec 15, 2008.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all demand deposits, money market accounts and investments in certificates of deposit and repurchase agreements purchased with a maturity of three months or less, at the date of purchase, to be cash equivalents. The Company maintains its cash and cash equivalents at financial institutions. The combined account balances at one or more institutions typically exceed the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance coverage, and, as a result, there is a concentration of credit risk related to amounts on deposit in excess of FDIC insurance coverage. The Company believes that the risk is not significant, as the Company does not anticipate the financial institutions non-performance.
Deferred Financing Costs
Deferred financing costs include fees and costs incurred to obtain the Companys lines of credit and long-term financings. These costs are amortized over the terms of the related debt. Unamortized financing costs are written-off when debt is retired before the maturity date. The accumulated amortization of such deferred financing costs was $28.0 million and $24.5 million at December 31, 2007 and 2006, respectively.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments, Including Derivative Instruments
The valuation of financial instruments under SFAS No. 107, Disclosures about Fair Value of Financial Instruments, and SFAS No. 133 and its amendments (SFAS Nos. 137/138/149), Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, requires the Company to make estimates and judgments that affect the fair value of the instruments. The Company, where possible, bases the fair values of its financial instruments, including its derivative instruments, on listed market prices and third party quotes. Where these are not available, the Company bases its estimates on current instruments with similar terms and maturities or on other factors relevant to the financial instruments.
In the normal course of business, the Company is exposed to the effect of interest rate changes. The Company limits these risks by following established risk management policies and procedures including the use of derivatives to hedge interest rate risk on debt instruments.
The Company has a policy of only entering into contracts with major financial institutions based upon their credit ratings and other factors. When viewed in conjunction with the underlying and offsetting exposure that the derivatives are designed to hedge, the Company has not sustained a material loss from those instruments nor does it anticipate any material adverse effect on its net income or financial position in the future from the use of derivatives.
On January 1, 2001, the Company adopted SFAS No. 133 and its amendments (SFAS Nos. 137/138/149), which requires an entity to recognize all derivatives as either assets or liabilities in the statement of financial position and to measure those instruments at fair value. Additionally, the fair value adjustments will affect either shareholders equity or net income depending on whether the derivative instruments qualify as a hedge for accounting purposes and, if so, the nature of the hedging activity. When the terms of an underlying transaction are modified, or when the underlying transaction is terminated or completed, all changes in the fair value of the instrument are marked-to-market with changes in value included in net income each period until the instrument matures. Any derivative instrument used for risk management that does not meet the hedging criteria of SFAS No. 133 is marked-to-market each period. The Company does not use derivatives for trading or speculative purposes.
The fair value of the Companys mortgage notes payable and unsecured notes were approximately $3.7 billion and $5.6 billion, respectively, at December 31, 2007. The fair values of the Companys financial instruments, other than mortgage notes payable, unsecured notes and derivative instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, lines of credit and other financial instruments, approximate their carrying or contract values.