The Securities and Exchange Commission said it has started work on a study of mark-to-market accounting authorized by the financial rescue bill that was approved last week.

The study is to be completed by Jan. 2, 2009, within the 90-day limit mandated by the bill, and will focus on the effects of mark-to-market accounting standards on a financial institution's balance sheet; the impacts of such accounting on bank failures in 2008 and on the quality of financial information available to investors; the process used by the Financial Accounting Standards Board in developing accounting standards; the advisability and feasibility of modifications to such standards; and alternative accounting standards to those provided in FASB Statement Number 157 on fair value measurement.

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