Wharton Research Scholars Journal

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

5-27-2012

Abstract

Introduced in late-2007, SFAS 157 redefined existing accounting standards concerning fair value accounting and significantly impacted financial reporting for financial institutions. Prior studies, using larger samples of financial firms, have concluded that Level 3 fair values (the most opaque and subjective fair values) were heavily discounted by the market. Consistent with prior studies,
this analysis, which examined only the largest and most systemically important financial institutions during the crisis and post-crisis periods, shows that the market did indeed ascribed a discount to Level 3 fair values, both during the financial crisis and following the financial crisis. Adding to the literature, this paper also observes that Level 2 fair values were discounted by the market during both the crisis and post-crisis periods, although the discount was significantly greater during the crisis, a feature not observed for Level 1 or Level 3 fair values or examined in prior studies.

Keywords

banking, accounting standards, financial regulation, financial crisis, valuation, opacity, transparency, fair value, SFAS 157, level one, level two, level three

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Date Posted: 19 July 2012