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Mark to market hearing

Keep an eye on the House Financial Services subcommitte hearing this Thursday, which will take up the issue of mark-to-market accounting. The markets could react–in one direction or the other–to the outcome, as the issue could affect perceptions of the immediate future of banks. Rightly or wrongly, mark-to-market provisions are under scrutiny because they have required banks to write down the value of many of the securities they hold, decimating their balance sheets.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Valuation Resources Group also is reviewing the mark-to-market question. Because FASB’s chairman and the SEC’s chief accountant are scheduled to testify before the House subcommittee, the hearing is likely to be watched closely for any clues to their thinking on the issue.

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