Mark-to-Market Lobby Buoys Bank Profits 20% as FASB May Say Yes

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Four days after U.S. lawmakers berated Financial Accounting Standards Board Chairman Robert Herz and threatened to take rulemaking out of his hands, FASB proposed an overhaul of fair-value accounting that may improve profits at banks such as Citigroup Inc. by more than 20 percent.

    The changes proposed on March 16 to fair-value, also known as mark-to-market accounting, would allow companies to use “significant judgment” in valuing assets and reduce the amount of writedowns they must take on so-called impaired investments, including mortgage-backed securities. A final vote on the resolutions, which would apply to first-quarter financial statements, is scheduled for April 2.

    FASB’s acquiescence followed lobbying efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association and companies ranging from Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s largest custodian of financial assets, to community lender Brentwood Bank in Pennsylvania. Former regulators and accounting analysts say the new rules would hurt investors who need more transparency, not less, in financial statements.

    Officials at Norwalk, Connecticut-based FASB were under “tremendous pressure” and “more or less eviscerated mark-to- market accounting,” said Robert Willens, a former managing director at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. who runs his own tax and accounting advisory firm in New York. “I’d say there was a pretty close cause and effect.”

    Willens, investor-advocate groups including the CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt oppose changes that would enable banks to put off reporting losses.

    ‘Outrageous Threats’

    “What disturbs me most about the FASB action is they appear to be bowing to outrageous threats from members of Congress who are beholden to corporate supporters,”
    said Levitt, now a senior adviser at buyout firm Carlyle Group and a board member at Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.

    If nothing else works...:mad:
  2. Daal


    The banks still havent wrotedown their goodwill from their bubbly years as they totally control it. This move should encourge a lot of lying
  3. I'm going to mark to fantasy my trading account
    Most of my trades should really be worth a lot more than it actually is.
    Check it out - I made a million today.