If you dozed off for just a second, you missed it.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said accounting standard-setters need to figure out how the mark-to-market rule blamed for worsening the global financial crisis should be followed when assets aren’t readily traded.
The rule, which requires companies to write down assets every quarter to reflect market value, is “a good principle in general” and shouldn’t be suspended entirely, Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee today. “Accounting authorities have a great deal of work to do to try to figure out how to deal with some of these assets, which are not traded in liquid markets,” he said.
Yes, indeed. If numbers aren’t looking like what we want, we’ll just make up some numbers and call it all good. Perfect!
Tim Geithner was seen to nod vigorously from the Green Room where he watched today’s testimony, until an aide whispered to him that Ben wasn’t talking about tax returns.
Bernanke Says Mark-to-Market Accounting Rule Should Be Improved [Bloomberg]