Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Except …

They've done it! The Guardian reports, "EU says to relax mark-to-market accounting rules."

Banks in the European Union "will be allowed" to skirt an accounting rule blamed by critics for exacerbating the impact of the credit crunch and triggering fire sales of assets, EU president France said on Tuesday, the report reads.

"EU finance ministers agreed to change how the mark-to-market rule is applied in the third quarter so that European banks are treated in the same way as their US competitors in the face of the worst financial crisis in 80 years."

The US authorities, adds The Guardian, "formally encouraged this last week to ease the pain on banks facing an uphill task to recapitalise." Encouraged?

Anyhow, this paper is the only one of the mainstream UK papers reporting the development. Forbes just mentions it but that's all you get. It remains to be seen whether the others even realise what is going on.

And whatever happened to Mr Cameron's idea that "Regulators should work with their European counterparts to address this difficult issue"? But then, I suppose, if he had written that the "EU finance ministers must consider it at their next meeting", that would have given the game away. And that would never do.

We're in Europe but not ruled by Europe, doncha know!

  • Other posts on the financial crisis here.