And so farewell Mark to Mythology?

For all the arm waving, hot air politicking and column pixels devoted to the role of accounting standards and their contribution to the global financial crisis, there has been surprisingly little coverage of the changes to mark to market accounting that were announced by FASB last week.

Five and a half years after the initial proposal required marking all financial assets and liabilities to market on the balance sheet, the new standard will require only changes in the fair value of equity investments to be recorded through income. The standard will also eliminate instances in which gains are recorded merely because a company’s credit rating was downgraded.

The standard will take effect in 2018, although early adoption will be allowed and some banks could be using the new format as early as q1 2016.

FASB’s announcement brings the US closer to European practice; the London-based International Accounting Standards Board changed its rules in July 2014.


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