SEC To Examine: How Is Fair Value Faring?

Oct 29th 2008
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By Edith Orenstein, FEI Financial Reporting Blog - The SEC is slated to hear from investors, auditors, issuers and others at an Oct. 29 roundtable on mark-to-market (MTM) accounting. (Note: MTM is often called fair value (FV) accounting. Although there are technical differences between the two terms, fair value accounting as defined in FASB Statement No. 157 emphasizes use of an exit price or current sale price notion of ‘market value’ as the best reference point for fair value.)

The Oct. 29 roundtable is one mechanism being used to obtain feedback to inform the SEC’s Congressionally mandated study of the impact of mark-to-market accounting on financial institutions. Letters filed so far represent a range of views, with some supporting the current fair value standards, some asking the standards to be suspended, and some with views in between.

In related news, FASB stepped in with a number of letters of its own, including, as we previously reported, a letter sent by Robert Denham, chair of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) which oversees FASB, to House Financial Services Chair Barney Frank, and more recently (on Oct. 27), a letter from FAF Chair Denham to SEC Chair Christopher Cox urging the SEC to reject requests to overrule FASB standards (particularly as relate to fair value and FASB’s proposed revisions to securitization accounting).

Additionally, FASB and the IASB recently announced the formation of a high level global advisory group on matters in the current markets.

Read more on the above developments here.


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