Friday, 3 October 2008


I've been a little busy recently so this will be brief. One scary part of the bailout bill was the clauses suspending mark to market. Firstly the idea of government intervening in accounting is a bit worrying: there is a long tradition in the US of the SEC telling firms what the FASB really meant, but Europeans tend to take a dim view of this sort of thing. But what they are suggesting will only increase uncertainty about who has really lost what. Time has more, but my tuppence is that the devil is in the detail of establishing fair value. You don't need to suspend FV per se, just give people more leeway about what counts as a sighting of that mysterious horse with the horn on its forehead, fair value, when the forest is burning.



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