Monday, March 16, 2009

FASB to Propose Changes to Mark-to-Market

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2009 03:46:00 PM

From Bloomberg: FASB Moves Toward Giving Banks More Flexibility on Fair-Value (ht Justin)

The Financial Accounting Standards Board, pressured by lawmakers to change the fair-value rule blamed for worsening the financial crisis, proposed permitting companies to use “significant judgment” in valuing assets.

Companies would be able to apply the revised rule to their first-quarter financial statements, FASB Chairman Robert Herz said today during a meeting at the U.S. accounting rulemaker’s Norwalk, Connecticut, headquarters. The board is set to vote on the proposal April 2, after a 15-day public comment period. ...
From the American Bankers Association: Breaking News: FASB to Propose Improvements to Mark-to-Market, OTTI
Mark-to-Market. The proposal for estimating market values will take into consideration whether there is an active market (such as the number of recent transactions, whether price quotes are based on current information, whether price quotes vary substantially, etc.). If there is not an active market, then the quoted price is a distressed transaction unless certain other conditions exist. For distressed transaction prices, “Level 3” techniques (such as present values of future cash flows) are used instead of the distressed prices and should reflect an orderly transaction between market participants, including a reasonable profit margin for uncertainty in a non-distressed situation.

Other-Than-Temporary-Impairment. FASB will also propose that the full market loss continue to be reported through earnings (and capital) only if the entity intends to sell or will be required to sell the security prior to its recovery. For all other OTTI, the amount of market loss will be split between the credit portion of the loss, which will be reported in earnings, and the remainder of the loss, which will be reported in “other comprehensive income.”