On October 7, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced additional details on the process and initial steps that the SEC has undertaken to conduct a study on "mark-to-market" accounting, as authorized by Sec. 133 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA), signed into law by President Bush on October 3. The study is to be completed by January 2, 2009, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Under the terms of the EESA, the study will focus on:
- The effects of such accounting standards on a financial institution's balance sheet.
- The impacts of such accounting on bank failures in 2008.
- The impact of such standards on the quality of financial information available to investors.
- The process used by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in developing accounting standards.
- The advisability and feasibility of modifications to such standards.
- Alternative accounting standards to those provided in FASBStatement No. 157.
The SEC also announced that it is scheduling public roundtables to obtain input on the study from investors, accountants, standard setters, business leaders and other interested parties.