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Report and Recommendations Pursuant to Section 133 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: Study on Mark-to-Market Accounting
Staff of the SEC (au)
On Oct. 3, 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“EESA” or the “Act”) was signed into law. Section 133 of the Act mandates that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Comm. conduct, in consultation with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Sec. of the Treasury, a study on mark-to-market accounting standards as provided by Financial Accounting StandardsBoard (“FASB”) Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (“SFAS”) No. 157, Fair Value Measurements (“SFAS No. 157”). As discussed further in this study, SFAS No. 157 does not itself require mark-to-market or fair value accounting. Rather, other accounting standards in various ways require what is more broadly known as “fair value” accounting, of which mark-to-market accounting is a subset.SFAS No. 157 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), and requires expanded disclosures about fair value measurements. However, to ensure that this study was responsive to the policy debate discussed below, for purposes of this study the SEC Staff considered the issue of fair value accounting in this larger context, including both mark-to-market accounting and SFAS No. 157. The events leading up to the Congressional call for this study illustrated the need for identifying and understanding the linkages that exist between fair value accounting standards and the usefulness of information provided by financial institutions. Figures.
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