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Mark-to-market
Mark-to-market (MTM or M2M) or fair value accounting is accounting for the " fair value" of an asset or liability based on the current market price, or the price for similar assets and liabilities, or based on another objectively assessed "fair" value. Fair value accounting has been a part of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the United States since the early 1990s, and is now regarded as the "gold standard" in some circles. Failure to use it is viewed as the cause of the Orange County Bankruptcy, even though its use is considered to be one of the reasons for the Enron scandal and the eventual bankruptcy of the company, as well as the closure of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Mark-to-market accounting can change values on the balance sheet as market conditions change. In contrast, historical cost accounting, based on the past transactions, is simpler, more stable, and easier to perform, but does not represent current market value. It summarizes past tr ...
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Financial Accounting Standards Board
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is a private standard-setting body whose primary purpose is to establish and improve Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) within the United States in the public's interest. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) designated the FASB as the organization responsible for setting accounting standards for public companies in the US. The FASB replaced the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' (AICPA) Accounting Principles Board (APB) on July 1, 1973. The FASB is run by the nonprofit Financial Accounting Foundation. FASB accounting standards are accepted as authoritative by many organizations, including state Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Structure The FASB is based in Norwalk, Connecticut, and is led by seven full-time Board members,Spiceland, David; Sepe, James; Nelson, Mark; & Tomassini, Lawrence (2009). ''Intermediate Accounting'' (5th Edition). McGraw-Hill/Irwi ...
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Enron Scandal
The Enron scandal was an accounting scandal involving Enron Corporation, an American energy company based in Houston, Texas. Upon being publicized in October 2001, the company declared bankruptcy and its accounting firm, Arthur Andersen then one of the five largest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world was effectively dissolved. In addition to being the largest bankruptcy reorganization in U.S. history at that time, Enron was cited as the biggest audit failure. Enron was formed in 1985 by Kenneth Lay after merging Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. Several years later, when Jeffrey Skilling was hired, Lay developed a staff of executives that – by the use of accounting loopholes, special purpose entities, and poor financial reporting – were able to hide billions of dollars in debt from failed deals and projects. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and other executives misled Enron's board of directors and audit committee on high-risk accounting practice ...
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Mark To Model
Mark-to-Model refers to the practice of pricing a position or portfolio at prices determined by financial models, in contrast to allowing the market to determine the price. Often the use of models is necessary where a market for the financial product is not available, such as with complex financial instruments. One shortcoming of Mark-to-Model is that it gives an artificial illusion of liquidity, and the actual price of the product depends on the accuracy of the financial models used to estimate the price. On the other hand it is argued that Asset managers and Custodians have a real problem valuing illiquid assets in their portfolios even though many of these assets are perfectly sound and the asset manager has no intention of selling them. Assets should be valued at mark to market prices as required by the Basel rules. However mark to market prices should not be used in isolation, but rather compared to model prices to test their validity. Models should be improved to take into ...
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Fair Value
In accounting and in most schools of economic thought, fair value is a rational and unbiased estimate of the potential market price of a good, service, or asset. The derivation takes into account such objective factors as the costs associated with production or replacement, market conditions and matters of supply and demand. Subjective factors may also be considered such as the risk characteristics, the cost of and return on capital, and individually perceived utility. Economic understanding Vs market price There are two schools of thought about the relation between the market price and fair value in any form of market, but especially with regard to tradable assets: * The efficient-market hypothesis asserts that, in a well organized, reasonably transparent market, the market price is generally equal to or close to the fair value, as investors react quickly to incorporate new information about relative scarcity, utility, or potential returns in their bids; see also Rational pri ...
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Margin (finance)
In finance, margin is the collateral that a holder of a financial instrument has to deposit with a counterparty (most often their broker or an exchange) to cover some or all of the credit risk the holder poses for the counterparty. This risk can arise if the holder has done any of the following: * Borrowed cash from the counterparty to buy financial instruments, * Borrowed financial instruments to sell them short, * Entered into a derivative contract. The collateral for a margin account can be the cash deposited in the account or securities provided, and represents the funds available to the account holder for further share trading. On United States futures exchanges, margins were formerly called performance bonds. Most of the exchanges today use SPAN ("Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk") methodology, which was developed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1988, for calculating margins for options and futures. Margin account A margin account is a loan account with ...
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Interest Rate Swap
In finance, an interest rate swap (IRS) is an interest rate derivative (IRD). It involves exchange of interest rates between two parties. In particular it is a "linear" IRD and one of the most liquid, benchmark products. It has associations with forward rate agreements (FRAs), and with zero coupon swaps (ZCSs). In its December 2014 statistics release, the Bank for International Settlements reported that interest rate swaps were the largest component of the global OTC derivative market, representing 60%, with the notional amount outstanding in OTC interest rate swaps of $381 trillion, and the gross market value of $14 trillion. Interest rate swaps can be traded as an index through the FTSE MTIRS Index. Interest rate swaps General description An interest rate swap's (IRS's) effective description is a derivative contract, agreed between two counterparties, which specifies the nature of an exchange of payments benchmarked against an interest rate index. The most common IRS ...
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Derivative (finance)
In finance, a derivative is a contract that ''derives'' its value from the performance of an underlying entity. This underlying entity can be an asset, index, or interest rate, and is often simply called the "underlying". Derivatives can be used for a number of purposes, including insuring against price movements ( hedging), increasing exposure to price movements for speculation, or getting access to otherwise hard-to-trade assets or markets. Some of the more common derivatives include forwards, futures, options, swaps, and variations of these such as synthetic collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. Most derivatives are traded over-the-counter (off-exchange) or on an exchange such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, while most insurance contracts have developed into a separate industry. In the United States, after the financial crisis of 2007–2009, there has been increased pressure to move derivatives to trade on exchanges. Derivatives are one of the ...
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American Bankers Association
The American Bankers Association (ABA) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association for the U.S. banking industry, founded in 1875. They lobby for banks of all sizes and charters, including community banks, regional and money center banks, savings associations, mutual savings banks, and trust companies. The average member bank having approximately $250 million in assets. ABA is considered the largest financial trade group in the United States. The group offers training, certification, news, research, advocacy, and community for bankers and members of the financial services in America. History The origins of the American Bankers Association are in the Panic of 1873, when St. Louis, Missouri banker James Howenstein found himself in "a tight squeeze," with only a few hundred dollars in funds and millions of deposits to pay. Relying on help and intelligence from peer bankers in the form of frequent correspondence, Howenstein escaped his dilemma and realized the value of a bank ...
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Financial Modeling
Financial modeling is the task of building an abstract representation (a model) of a real world financial situation. This is a mathematical model designed to represent (a simplified version of) the performance of a financial asset or portfolio of a business, project, or any other investment. Typically, then, financial modeling is understood to mean an exercise in either asset pricing or corporate finance, of a quantitative nature. It is about translating a set of hypotheses about the behavior of markets or agents into numerical predictions. At the same time, "financial modeling" is a general term that means different things to different users; the reference usually relates either to accounting and corporate finance applications or to quantitative finance applications. While there has been some debate in the industry as to the nature of financial modeling—whether it is a tradecraft, such as welding, or a science—the task of financial modeling has been gaining acceptance ...
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Trade (financial Instrument)
In finance, a trade is an exchange of a security (stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, derivatives or any valuable financial instrument) for "cash", typically a short-dated promise to pay in the currency of the country where the ' exchange' is located. The price at which a financial instrument is traded, is determined by the supply and demand for that financial instrument. ;Securities trade life cycle # Order initiation and execution. (Front office function) # Risk management and order routing. (Middle office function) # Order matching and conversion into trade. (Front office function) # Affirmation and confirmation. (back office function) # Clearing and Settlement. (back office function) See also * Electronic trading platform * Stockbroker * Stock exchange * Stock market A stock market, equity market, or share market is the aggregation of buyers and sellers of stocks (also called shares), which represent ownership claims on businesses; these may include ''securi ...
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Amortization (business)
In accounting, amortization refers to expensing the acquisition cost minus the residual value of intangible assets in a systematic manner over their estimated "useful economic lives" so as to reflect their consumption, expiry, and obsolescence, or other decline in value as a result of use or the passage of time. The term amortization can also refer to the completion of that process, as in "the amortization of the tower was expected in 1734". Depreciation is a corresponding concept for tangible assets. Methodologies for allocating amortization to each accounting period are generally the same as these for depreciation. However, many intangible assets such as goodwill or certain brands may be deemed to have an indefinite useful life and are therefore not subject to amortization (although goodwill is subjected to an impairment test every year). While theoretically amortization is used to account for the decreasing value of an intangible asset over its useful life, in practice many c ...
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