“Mark to Market” accounting means that you show assets on your balance sheet at their market value. Although the SEC and FASB (an organization that writes accounting rules) are resisting, the bright lights in Washingon are working to have the mark-to-market rule suspended:
Congressmen, banking lobbyists and companies including American International Group Inc. have urged the SEC to suspend fair-value accounting, saying it forces firms to report losses they never expect to incur. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and other proponents say removing the rule would erode confidence that firms are owning up to losses.
If we close our eyes, think real hard, and click our heels together three times, the toxic waste on our balance sheets will magically turn into ponies, and everybody gets one!
Representative Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican, said the House probably would have approved a $700 billion bailout of financial companies yesterday had the legislation included a suspension of fair-value accounting. The House rejected the measure 228-205.
It would have passed “easily” if the rules had been suspended, Tiahrt, who opposed the legislation, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview. Read more »