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Mark-to-market rule compromise is on the way

March 11, 2009
MarketWatch.com

Brian Battle offers some viable alternatives to the mark-to-market accounting rules:  He explained that one alternative would be to allow banks to develop a model and analysis of what they believe their illiquid assets are worth and what they forecast the securities will be valued in the following quarter, he said. In this approach, a bank must also explain the asset’s value if sold today. One hypothetical scenario:  A bank produces analysis and documentation that its asset is worth $80, its value will be $90 next quarter and it can get $50 in the market today.  Analysts and investors would become more or less confident in a bank’s assets valuations, as it becomes clear whether or not they meet these estimates.  “Some banks will become known as sandbaggers while others would be perceived more favorably because they met their modeled forecasts," he said.

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