An article in today’s Wall Street Journal (“Write-Offs a Boon to Builders, Bankers” in the online version; “Write-Offs Would Help Companies Hit Hardest” in print, page A3) explains how President Obama’s planned tax cuts might be good for our friends over on the home-building front.

Typically, companies can carry back such losses only two years. The Obama proposals likely would mean that companies with enormous losses from last year and this year could use the losses to help wipe out tax obligations from the previous five years and receive sizable tax-refund checks from the Treasury Department. For some firms, that would mean cash payments of billions of dollars.

That tax cut would be particularly helpful to industries that were flying high for the past several years, but now aren’t expected to report much profit for the foreseeable future — such as Wall Street firms, home builders and construction companies.

Much more detail in the full piece, of course, for those interested in the nuances of accelerated depreciation.