FASB Eases “Mark to Market”

The Federal Accounting Standards Board voted to ease “mark to market” accounting rules, which forced financial firms to markdown the value of their assets.  This is pretty wonkish, but its kind of a big deal.  If some firms were selling off “toxic” mortgages at bargain prices, other firms would have to lower the reported value of the mortgages they held, even if they had no intention of selling them in the near future.

This represents the first “deregulation” of an over-regulated financial sector in a long time.  More from Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heritage, and Free Market Politics on the reform. 

You will note that ending “mark to market” was one of the Free Market Alternatives to the Bailout outlined here in Sept.  It takes a long longer for good policy ideas to percolate than bad ones (e.g. bailouts, stimulus, bonus taxes, etc).