A VIE is an entity that either (i) has insufficient equity to permit the entity to finance its activities without additional subordinated financial support, or (ii) has equity investors who lack the characteristics of a controlling financial interest. A VIE is consolidated by its primary beneficiary. The primary beneficiary has both the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance and the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits from the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE.
We have the power to direct the activities of an entity when our management has the ability to make key operating decisions, such as decisions regarding capital or product investment or manufacturing production schedules. We have the power to direct the activities of our special purpose entities when we have the ability to exercise discretion in the servicing of financial assets, issue additional debt, exercise a unilateral call option, add assets to revolving structures, or control investment decisions.
Assets recognized as a result of consolidating these VIEs do not represent additional assets that could be used to satisfy claims against our general assets. Conversely, liabilities recognized as a result of consolidating these VIEs do not represent additional claims on our general assets; rather, they represent claims against the specific assets of the consolidated VIEs.