Did Fair-Value Accounting Contribute to the Financial Crisis?
The 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.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as 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.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009.
"Fear of Fire Sales and the Credit Freeze,"
NBER Working Papers
14925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Laeven, Luc & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2001.
"Loan loss provisioning and economic slowdowns : too much, too late?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2749, The World Bank.
- 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.
- Luc Laeven & Giovanni Majnoni, 2002. "Loan loss provisioning and economic slowdowns: too much too late?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Guillaume Plantin & Haresh Sapra & Hyun Song Shin, 2008.
"Marking-to-Market: Panacea or Pandora's Box?,"
Journal of Accounting Research,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 435-460, 05.
- Nicolas VÃ©ron, 2008. "Fair Value Accounting is the Wrong Scapegoat for this Crisis," Accounting in Europe, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 63-69, December.
- Gary Gorton, 2008.
"The Subprime Panic,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
amz2504, Yale School of Management.
- Brunnermeier, Markus K & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2007.
"Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6179, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2007. "Market liquidity and funding liquidity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24478, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Markus K. Brunnermeier & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2007. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 12939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lasse Heje Pederson & Markus K Brunnermeier, 2007. "Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity," FMG Discussion Papers dp580, Financial Markets Group.
- Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2006.
"Mark-to-market accounting and liquidity pricing,"
CFS Working Paper Series
2006/17, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Efraim Benmelech & Jennifer Dlugosz, 2009.
"The Credit Rating Crisis,"
NBER Working Papers
15045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francis A. Longstaff & Brett Myers, 2009. "Valuing Toxic Assets: An Analysis of CDO Equity," NBER Working Papers 14871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ingo Fender & Martin Scheicher, 2008. "The ABX: how do the markets price subprime mortgage risk?," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15515. See general 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.