“Invitations have been sent out to senior bankers and regulators to form a new group to tackle the problems of valuing securities in illiquid markets—an issue central to the credit crunch and banks’ complaints about the write-downs they have been forced to report,” says a new Financial Times article. At the prompting of the Financial Stability Forum, an international banking and regulatory group, the International Accounting Standards Board is looking into the problem of write downs—which total more than $300 billion, the article says. The IASB has come under fire for its support of fair value accounting rules, and another leading bank group—the Institute of International Finance—has proposed relaxing the rules when markets become illiquid and prices become unreliable. But apparently Goldman Sachs is still protesting what it terms “Alice-in-Wonderland accounting,” the article says, adding impetus to the IASB’s working group, which is expected to meet in London on June 13 behind closed doors. Apparently, the non-public nature of the discussions has already caused some backlash—and so far, the IASB homepage makes no mention of the working group.
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