Friday, May 28, 2010

Is Transparency Always Good? 

In PR we contend that transparency is better.  Bankers beg to differ -- at least with the proposal from the Financial Accounting Standards Board to increase transparency in loan valuation.   FASB wants the banks to mark loans to market value.  Banks say this would create huge swings in value on their balance sheets and add uncertainty to the market.  Bank analysts, for their part, don't appreciate such swings either when they are looking for a smooth progression of revenues and earnings and valuations.  So who is right?  The theorists at FASB or the marketplace?  The answer is political and lies with the body that has the most persuasive power in making an argument for or against the FASB proposal.  Oddly enough, it is a PR question in the dress of financial discussion.


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