Did Fair-Value Accounting Contribute to the Financial Crisis?
AbstractThe recent financial crisis has led to a major debate about fair-value accounting. Many critics have argued that fair-value accounting, often also called mark-to-market accounting, has significantly contributed to the financial crisis or, at least, exacerbated its severity. In this paper, we assess these arguments and examine the role of fair-value accounting in the financial crisis using descriptive data and empirical evidence. Based on our analysis, it is unlikely that fair-value accounting added to the severity of the current financial crisis in a major way. While there may have been downward spirals or asset-fire sales in certain markets, we find little evidence that these effects are the result of fair-value accounting. We also find little support for claims that fair-value accounting leads to excessive write-downs of banks’ assets. If anything, empirical evidence to date points in the opposite direction, that is, towards overvaluation of bank assets.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15515.
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Christian Laux & Christian Leuz, 2010. "Did Fair-Value Accounting Contribute to the Financial Crisis?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 93-118, Winter.
- Laux, Christian & Leuz, Christian, 2009. "Did fair-value accounting contribute to the financial crisis?," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/22, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
- G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
- G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
- M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Accounting - - - Accounting
- M48 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Accounting - - - Government Policy and Regulation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2009-11-21 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2009-11-21 (Banking)
- NEP-BEC-2009-11-21 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CBA-2009-11-21 (Central Banking)
- NEP-REG-2009-11-21 (Regulation)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Efraim Benmelech & Jennifer Dlugosz, 2009.
"The Credit Rating Crisis,"
NBER Working Papers
15045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary Gorton, 2009.
"The Subprime Panic,"
European Financial Management,
European Financial Management Association, vol. 15(1), pages 10-46.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2009. "Deciphering the Liquidity and Credit Crunch 2007-2008," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
- Luc Laeven & Giovanni Majnoni, 2002.
"Loan loss provisioning and economic slowdowns: too much too late?,"
Conference Series ; [Proceedings],
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Laeven, Luc & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2003. "Loan loss provisioning and economic slowdowns: too much, too late?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 178-197, April.
- Laeven, Luc & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2001. "Loan loss provisioning and economic slowdowns : too much, too late?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2749, The World Bank.
- Francis A. Longstaff & Brett Myers, 2009. "Valuing Toxic Assets: An Analysis of CDO Equity," NBER Working Papers 14871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2006.
"Mark-to-market accounting and liquidity pricing,"
CFS Working Paper Series
2006/17, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Nicolas VÃ©ron, 2008. "Fair Value Accounting is the Wrong Scapegoat for this Crisis," Accounting in Europe, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 63-69, December.
- Plantin, Guillaume & Sapra, Haresh & Shin, Huyn, 2008. "Marking to Market: Panacea or Pandora's Box," Open Access publications from University of Toulouse 1 Capitole http://neeo.univ-tlse1.fr, University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.
- Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.