World Gone Mad - new law allows banks to bank profits on losses

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by THE-BEAKER, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. i seriously had to read this twice.

    what will think of next?

    all losses made in markets can be booked as potenial profits because they might come back at some point in the future.

    another farce to prop up a system of banks balance sheets that is already bankrupt on paper.

    jesus, - give me some strength.

    is it me or has everybody gone mad?????


    Banks are set to cushion the blow of more credit-related losses by using an accounting rule that enables them to record exceptional gains when their financial health deteriorates.

    The method, which has allowed US and European banks to add more than $8bn in paper profits, faces increasing opposition from investors, analysts and credit rating agencies.

    Under the rule, introduced in February 2007 after lobbying from banks, financial companies are allowed to use “mark to market” accounting on their own debt. As a result, if the price of their bonds and notes falls, banks can record a gain equal to the difference between the original value of the debt and its market price.

    In past months, the rule has helped banks including Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch to boost profits.

    Analysts forecast that Merrill and Citi, which report second-quarter results next week, will offset part of their expected multibillion-dollar writedowns with these gains. The impact of the accounting rule could be muted by a brief rally in debt markets in April.

    Critics, such as David Einhorn, the hedge fund manager who has been shorting Lehman shares, say the rule lets banks record accounting gains when sentiment towards the companies worsens.

    Mark LaMonte, a senior vice-president at Moody’s, said the credit rating agency had advised investors to strip out these gains from their analyses. “We are not big fans of the fair-value option when it is applied to a company’s own debt because the results are very counterproductive. It creates very poor quality earnings.”

    Corporate governance experts say investors face difficulties in finding these paper gains as banks disclose them in different ways: sometimes in footnotes, sometimes in press releases.

    “Investors should not be required to go digging deep into the regulatory filings to find out these gains,” said Lynn Turner, former chief accountant at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The banks declined to comment but insiders said the accounting treatment works both ways and banks will suffer a paper loss if the value of their debt rises or credit spreads tighten. They note that gains from credit spread widening must be deducted from Tier 1 regulatory capital.

    Goldman Sachs, in a regulatory filing this week, revealed unrealized losses of $375m before hedges in the three months to May, because of the April debt market rally.

    Holly Barker, a project manager at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, said companies that elect to use fair value for their debt have have to quantify the reasons why its creditworthiness is declining.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f51959fe-4d17-11dd-b527-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1
     
  2. The U.S. is going down in corruption. It is becoming THE most corrupted nation in the world with our stupid lobbying system. Start getting used to it because it will only get worse.
     
  3. Papa Doc, Baby Doc, and the Tonton Macoute.
     
  4. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121556016799537453.html?mod=todays_us_opinion
     
  5. Christ, are the Fed trying to bankrupt themselves?

    From the two articles that were posted it seems that the Fed are trying to impliment a system where the Reserve bank buys treasuries using bank deposits. The banks will then be able to exchange their own corporate debt for treasuries at a reduced price - booking a profit and propping up the capital on their balance sheets.
     
  6. No Ferdinand...they are trying to break the country. Not all Americans are American.
     
  7. It would certainly be easy to stuff the Federal Reserve with troubled loans and have the entity collapse. The troubled loans would be wiped out and the treasuries could be used to fund a new reserve bank. The destruction of the savings of millions of Americans (bank deposits) that were loaned out to the Fed would be considered collateral damage.
     
  8. The only thing you can can conclude from this crap is that the situation is so dire the US will do anything it can so we can survive for the next 24 hours.
     
  9. No. The Fed just going to bankrupt everyone else except it's shareholders. AKA member banks.

     
  10. That's what I'm saying. Member banks will be left holding treasuries while everyone else will foot the bill. The treasuries can then be used to start a new reserve bank.
     
    #10     Jul 9, 2008