Sadly, this means it will continue to be nearly impossible to really see and value the securities held by financial firms, making it impossible to accurately value the firms, and requiring investors to make their own haircut to discount the continued lack of transparency–if the marks continue to be mark-to-myth, or mark-to-imagination. See FASB’s March 17 statement. Part of the issue is if these are truly marked to the distressed levels that they’d trade at now, prices may well be lower than what’s actually been carried, and require added capital for banks–but from where? More on this, from Wharton.
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