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Washington
Obama fair value task force sought by CUNA
WASHINGTON (3/3/09)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is advancing a new idea to address problems created by accounting rules on fair value, mark-to-market and the reporting of assets that are "Other Than Temporarily Impaired." In a letter to President Barack Obama, CUNA urged the formation of a Presidential Task Force on these accounting issues as soon as possible. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica told the president that CUNA applauds his leadership in pursuing workable solutions to the multitude of significant problems facing the nation. “However, Mr. President, a major contributing factor to the nation’s financial crisis is the application of fair value and mark-to-market accounting standards during the current dislocated market,” Mica wrote. He noted that those accounting standards were originally intended to enhance accuracy of public financial information, but under current market conditions are having the opposite effect. Mica said a presidential task force could bring together the accounting profession, government policy makers and representatives of credit unions and others in the financial sector to develop feasible recommendations to enhance financial statement accuracy through more appropriate recognition of the present uncertain market. Mica said that CUNA feels efforts to date to address fair value accounting have been inadequate, including those by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Bush administration. He also noted that the Financial Accounting Standards Board has announced a review, but that its efforts will not begin until June, following a comment period. Mica urged the formation of a task force as soon as possible.


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