House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he did not plan to have Congress suspend fair value accounting rules.
"We will never legislate accounting," Frank said at a gathering of business leaders in Boston, according to Reuters. However, Frank wants banks and companies to have more flexibility in applying mark-to-market rules. He also wants to stop a rule that automatically triggers consequences, such as forcing a bank to curtail its lending, when the value of a bank's assets have been reduced by mark-to-market accounting.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox seemed to favor revising some aspects of mark-to-market accounting at a roundtable Wednesday on fair value at SEC headquarters in Washington (see SEC Roundtable Debates Fair Value Accounting).
"Illiquid markets are bringing new challenges to the measurement of fair value," he said, according to Bloomberg News. "These challenges have brought into focus the need for further work on improving the tools that companies have at their disposal to achieve transparent" financial reporting.
However, Cox resisted calls from banking groups to suspend mark-to-market accounting altogether and said the Financial Accounting Standards Board should be free from outside pressure.
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