imparments are taken more on marketable securities and assets intended ot sell, to bring them to expected realizable value.
For example if you have a building on the books for 1,000,000 and the renter leaves and GKK goes to sell it, they won't get that much for the empty building and would have an imparment for whatever they expect to sell it at. SAme applies to debt instruments, but less clearer than the realestate example.
provision is almost recognizing a bad loan before it goes bad
No. As I understand it, in relation to GKK, if they plan to sell a loan they mark it down to fair market value (FMV). The mark down results in a new carrying value. The difference between old and new carrying value is the impairment. It is recognized immediately.
In contrast, if they plan to hold a loan to maturity and its realizable value has declined, they create a provision for loan loss. The loan stays on books at original carrying value and any loss is charged off to the loan loss reserve account as it is actually realized.
Basically, the difference between impairment and provision is accounting. But both non-cash charges have have a very real GAAP effect. And while they don't immediately affect cash flow, they will ultimately affect cash flow when the asset is resolved (assuming of course the impairment and provision were accurately estimated by management).