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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

Mish: Just How Unprepared Are Banks for Major Losses?

Virtually all the banks are against honest reporting. Wells Fargo is leading the pack because of all the nonperforming Pay Option ARM and problem housing assets on its books. The louder a bank screams, the more unprepared it is to deal with nonperforming loans and mark-to-market valuations of garbage held on its balance sheet. Banks Recruit Investors To Kill Fair Value Proposals Banks are so opposed to common sense rules that they have even recruited investors in a Campaign to Kill FASB Fair-Value Proposal Banking lobbyists have launched an e- mail and Web campaign to mobilize investors against a proposed expansion of fair-value accounting rules that may force banks such as Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. to write down billions of dollars of assets. The American Bankers Association opposes the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s plan to apply fair-value rules to all financial instruments, including loans, rather than just to securities. The group says the rule could make strong banks appear undercapitalized. Fair-value, also known as mark-to-market accounting, forces companies to adjust the value of most securities they hold to market prices each quarter. It became one of the biggest flash points of the financial crisis when banks barraged lawmakers and the Securities and Exchange Commission with complaints that the rule exacerbated their problems because they had to record losses on mortgage bonds they had no intention of selling.

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