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U.S. Central’s $1.2 billion other than temporary impairment and the NCUA’s resulting insurance levy on credit unions have spurred discussions regarding the now-controversial mark-to-mark accounting standards. Credit Union Times asked credit union financial managers their thoughts about the art of accounting and what they think should be done about mark-to-market accounting.

For approximately 70 years after FDR’s decision to suspend mark-to-market accounting, banks and credit unions operated without M2M and the economy didn’t have the threat of another depression. Maybe it’s just coincidence, but immediately after M2M accounting was restored in 2007, the banking financial industry went into a tail spin.I have read that of the $700 billion that financial institutions have written off, almost all of it has been M2M write-downs and not actual cash losses. Casualties of this failed practice are everywhere. But the biggest reason to eliminate M2M accounting is that it is blamed for killing banks (and maybe our corporates) and helping put the U.S. into a deep recession and possible depression.

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Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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