US government panel to examine mark-to-market

A US House panel will investigate mark-to-market accounting on March 12 with
the aim of striking a compromise between proper investor disclosure and the
needs of financial institutions.

But US representative Paul Kanjorski, chairman of the House Financial

Services’ capital markets subcommittee, stopped short of wishing away the
controversial practice altogether.

‘While companies need stability, investors still need accurate information.
We therefore cannot allow for fantasy accounting that wishes away bad assets by
merely concealing them,’ Kanjorski said in a statement announcing the hearing.

US industry groups have called on the Securities and Exchange Commission and
the standard setter to modify or suspend mark-to-market accounting, claiming it
is threatening the government’s bailout of the banking sector.

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