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How did Financial Reporting Contribute to the Financial Crisis?

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  • Mary Barth
  • Wayne Landsman
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    Abstract

    We scrutinize the role financial reporting for fair values, asset securitizations, derivatives and loan loss provisioning played in the Financial Crisis. Because banks were at the center of the Financial Crisis, we focus our discussion and analysis on the effects of financial reporting by banks. We conclude fair value accounting played little or no role in the Financial Crisis. However, transparency of information associated with asset securitizations and derivatives likely was insufficient for investors to assess properly the values and riskiness of bank assets and liabilities. Although the FASB and IASB have taken laudable steps to improve disclosures relating to asset securitizations, in our view, the approach for accounting for securitizations in the IASB's Exposure Draft that would require banks to recognize whatever assets and liabilities they have after the securitization is executed better reflects the underlying economics of the securitization transaction. Regarding derivatives, we recommend disclosure of more disaggregated information, disclosure of the sensitivity of derivatives' fair values to changes in market risk variables, and implementing a risk-equivalence approach to enable investors to understand better the leverage inherent in derivatives. We also conclude that because the objectives of bank regulation and financial reporting differ, changes in financial reporting needed to improve transparency of information provided to the capital markets likely will not be identical to changes in bank regulations needed to strengthen the stability of the banking sector. We discuss how loan loss provisioning may have contributed to the Financial Crisis through its effects on procyclicality and on the effectiveness of market discipline. Accounting standard setters and bank regulators should find some common ground. However, it is the responsibility of bank regulators, not accounting standard setters, to ensure the stability of the financial system.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09638180.2010.498619
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 399-423

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:19:y:2010:i:3:p:399-423

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    References

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    1. Guillaume Plantin & Haresh Sapra & Hyun Shin, . "Marking to Market: Panacea or Pandora’s Box ?," GSIA Working Papers 2005-E4, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    2. Christian Laux & Christian Leuz, 2009. "Did Fair-Value Accounting Contribute to the Financial Crisis?," NBER Working Papers 15515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
    4. Barth, Mary E. & Landsman, Wayne R. & Wahlen, James M., 1995. "Fair value accounting: Effects on banks' earnings volatility, regulatory capital, and value of contractual cash flows," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 577-605, June.
    5. Barth, Mary E. & Beaver, William H. & Landsman, Wayne R., 2001. "The relevance of the value relevance literature for financial accounting standard setting: another view," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 77-104, September.
    6. Mary Barth, 2006. "Including estimates of the future in today's financial statements," BIS Working Papers 208, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Beatty, Anne & Chamberlain, Sandra & Magliolo, Joseph, 1996. "An empirical analysis of the economic implications of fair value accounting for investment securities," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 43-77, October.
    8. Eccher, Elizabeth A. & Ramesh, K. & Thiagarajan, S. Ramu, 1996. "Fair value disclosures by bank holding companies," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 79-117, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ulf Brüggemann & Jörg-Markus Hitz & Thorsten Sellhorn, 2012. "Intended and unintended consequences of mandatory IFRS adoption: A review of extant evidence and suggestions for future research," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-011, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. VLADU ALINA BEATTRICE Author-Workplace-Name: BABES-BOLYAI UNIVERSITY CLUJ-NAPOCA, 2013. "FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENT IN AGRICULTURE AND THE POTENTIAL TO MISLEAD Abstract: Applying fair value measurement to tangible and intangible assets in agriculture cannot be risk free. Twofold reasons can b," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 5, pages 95-98, October.
    3. Bernard Gumb & Philippe Dupuy & Stéphane Jaumier, 2012. "De L'Impact Des Normes Comptables Sur Le Comportement Des Managers : Le Cas Des Trésoriers D'Entreprise," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00691040, HAL.
    4. Jannis Bischof & Ulf Brüggemann & Holger Daske, 2012. "Fair Value Reclassifications of Financial Assets during the Financial Crisis," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-010, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    5. Staszkiewicz, Piotr W., 2012. "Veryfication of the disclosure lemma for Polish broker-dealer market," MPRA Paper 44210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Maghyereh, Aktham I. & Awartani, Basel, 2014. "Bank distress prediction: Empirical evidence from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 126-147.
    7. Staszkiewicz, Piotr W., 2011. "Multi entry framework for financial and risk reporting," MPRA Paper 34903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Gregory Waymire & Sudipta Basu, 2011. "Economic crisis and accounting evolution," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 207-232, August.
    9. David Procházka, 2011. "The Role of Fair Value Measurement in the Recent Financial Crunch," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(1), pages 71-88.
    10. Pascal Barneto & Georges Gregorio, 2011. "Normes IFRS et mesure de la performance. Étude comparative auprès des établissements bancaires européens," Post-Print hal-00646454, HAL.
    11. Kousenidis, Dimitrios V. & Ladas, Anestis C. & Negakis, Christos I., 2013. "The effects of the European debt crisis on earnings quality," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 351-362.
    12. Jin, Justin Yiqiang & Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Lobo, Gerald J., 2011. "Ability of accounting and audit quality variables to predict bank failure during the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 2811-2819, November.

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