The Securities and Exchange Commission convened a roundtable of experts to discuss the controversial topic of fair value measurements in accounting.
Among the speakers was Russell Mallett III, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, who defended the concept. “Fair value provides the most transparent picture of current market conditions,” he said, according to RTT News.
Some opponents of fair value accounting have called for a return to earlier standards such as historical cost when it is difficult to find measurable inputs for securities that are difficult to price and sell. But speakers from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs defended fair value, with Matthew Schroeder of Goldman Sachs saying that fair value is “better than the alternatives.”
Goldman Sachs also withdrew Wednesday from the international banking association, the Institute for International Finance, citing a disagreement with the IIF’s plan to change fair value accounting rules. Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag told Reuters, “We believe that in times of market stress, it is particularly important to be rigorous about the value of your assets and your liabilities.”
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