On March 18, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued two proposed staff positions (FSPs) on application guidance for fair value measurements and impairments of securities. Proposed FSP FAS 157-e, Determining Whether a Market Is Not Active and a Transaction Is Not Distressed, provides guidelines for making fair value measurements in light of the principles presented in FASB Statement No. 157, Fair Value Measurements. Statement 157 provides a framework for measuring fair value and a definition of fair value that contemplates an orderly transaction between market participants, not a forced or distressed sale. In the current economic crisis, many constituents have requested additional authoritative guidance to assist them in determining whether a market is active or inactive, and whether a transaction is distressed. Proposed FSP FAS 157-e would provide this application guidance.  

Proposed FSP FAS 115-a, FAS 124-a, and EITF 99-20-b, Recognition and Presentation of Other-Than-Temporary Impairments, provides additional guidance on accounting for and presenting impairment losses on securities. Proposed FSP FAS 115-a, FAS 124-a, and EITF 99-20-b on other-than-temporary impairments (OTTI) is designed to provide clarity to investors about the credit and noncredit component of an OTTI event and to communicate when an OTTI event has occurred. As proposed, the FSP would apply to both debt and equity securities. The proposed FSP requires separate display of losses related to credit deterioration and losses related to other market factors on the income statement. Market-related losses would be recorded in other comprehensive income if it is not likely that the investor will have to sell the security prior to recovery.  

If approved, both FSPs would be effective for interim and annual periods ending after March 15.