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Accounting for power and control: The Anglo-Iranian oil nationalization, 1951

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JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
DatePublished - Dec 2012
Issue number7-8
Volume23
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)595-607
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The paper uses accounting and stock market data to evaluate the power of protagonists in a political crisis and their respective ability to assert control over disputed assets. It employs a case study of the expropriation of the assets of the AIOC by the Iranian government in 1951. An event study and accounting data analysis show that the stock market reaction to the nationalization strongly predicted the ability of the company to recover its assets implying a significant market value associated with political support. They also show that the company was able to use the publication of its annual report to reassure shareholders and that due to the assumed presence of political support this signal was received as credible.

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