The Security and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board will work on changes in the mark-to-market practice by early April. That’s what they promised members of the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises late last week. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, SEC chairman Mary Shapiro, and the American Bankers Association got their wish. Maybe.
After all, working on changes is no guarantee of making changes. And in his testimony before the committee James L. Kroeker, acting chief accountant at the SEC, was quite deferential to the FASB, citing “the importance of the FASB’s independence” and reviewing the three public roundtables held last year that yielded the finding that “fair value accounting provides useful information to users of financial reporting,” though improvements “particularly in inactive or illiquid markets” would be nice.