CRA Insights

FAS-157-4: Determining fair value in illiquid markets

July 7, 2009

Supporters of the mark-to- market disclosure rules argue that FAS 157, Fair Value Measurements, has helped bring more transparency to financial institutions’ disclosures of the effect of volatile credit markets. However, critics argue that in today’s credit environment mark-to-market accounting may force the valuation of these assets based on distressed or fire-sale prices, rather than value in a normal functioning market. This article reviews the arguments of both fair value accounting supporters and its critics, and provides an overview of the recently released SEC and FASB clarification on fair value implementation.